- ‘No differences between Revanth and me’
- Revanth as TPCC president and I as CLP leader, were given permissions to Hath Se Hath Jodo Abhiyan (HHJA)
- People in adivasi hamlets are in vulnerable conditions.
- People eager to explain their problems during my ‘Yatra’
- KCR failed to use the irrigation projects completed in Congress regime
- No distributory canals have been dug for them
- Sufferings of people under BRS regime could not be depicted
- CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarna’s exclusive interview to Prime Post (PP)
PP: There is some resentment among Congress activists and party sympathisers over conducting Hath Se Hath Jodo Abiyan (HHJA) on your own and they felt it is an act of ‘non-cooperation’ act on your part towards TPCC president A Revanth Reddy. What do you say about it?
Bhatti: Revanth Reddy is the TPCC president and I am the CLP leader. AICC considered the two are key posts and they asked us to undertake HHJY separately to cover more area. The programs of both of us will help the party and the problems of the people in more areas can be brought into the public domain. We both are committed soldiers of Congress party and we will work only for the good of the party. AICC in-charge of Telangana Manikrao Thakre himself had finalized my route map.
PP: If it were a fact, why did you skip the HHJA by Revanth Reddy at Yellandu in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district, which was once part of erstwhile Khammam district? Party cadre discussed your absence at Revant’s program openly. What is your take on this?
Bhatti: Yes, it is a fact that I did not attend HHJA at Yellandu due to Assembly Budget Sessions. As CLP leader, I have to expose the misdeeds of BRS government in the Assembly, which is a good platform to focus on KCR’s failures. I took part in Revanth’s programme at Bhadrachalam.
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PP: How is HHJA going on in Adilabad district? What is your feedback on the people’s problems?
Bhatti: The real suffering of the people is what I have been assessing. The pain of the people, particularly Adivaisis, is acute. Hundreds of Adivasis are coming and taking me to their houses and narrating their woes. I was told that they were not allowed to get handful of bamboo sticks to erect pandals in front of their houses for conducting weddings. They were not allowed to catch fish in the ponds of the forest. A case has been filed against Adivasis for fishing in a rivulet and the forest officials had confiscated the fish from them.
Kaleswaram built for the sake of kickbacks
PP: Did you find the irrigation water which is being claimed by the KCR government?
Bhatti: Frankly speaking, Kaleswaram Irrigation Project was built just for the sake of kickbacks. It ignored the irrigation projects in Jinnaram, Boath and Khanapur mandals in Adilabad district that were completed during the Congress rule. Kutti Irrigation projects in Boath mandal is a classic example. There is plenty of water in the project, but no use for the farmers. Because, there were no main and distributory canals for this project. No use of having an abundant water in the project. Such pathetic scenario has been going on for the last eight years.
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PP: What about Mission Bhagiratha? Are the people getting safe drinking water through the scheme?
Bhatti: I told you my experience in Dasnaguda, a hamlet village. The women who knew about my HHJA approached and asked me to come to their village. They took me to a well where the other women pulling water from a well dug by ITDA. I was surprised at the scene and enquired about the Mission Bhagiratha. The women showed me a tank built under the scheme. No water is coming from it.
Podu lands issue made a big mess
PP: Is the podu land issue exposed by adivasis in HHBA? What are the issues being faced by people due to Dharani?
Bhatti: Three women Rukminibai, Susheelabai and Laxmibai took me to their houses in their village in Khanapur mandal and asked me to sit on a cot (nulaka mancham). They paced their ‘pahani’ books before me. They told me that they (the pahanis) became useless now because, the survey numbers that are there in pahanis were not found in ‘Dharani’ portal. The government made the ‘podu’ lands issue a ‘big mess’. The pattas given before 2009 under ROFR (Right Of First Refusal) Act (1 of 70) are not being considered by the forest officials. The comment by Machindra Kamble, a Scheduled Caste person, amply reflects the ground reality in Telangana. He commented, “I did not have any right in Telangana except the voting right’.
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Plight of toys artisans vulnerable
While Prime Post representative was asking on other issues, Bhatti intervened and explained the condition of the people who are dependent on handcrafts. Ozha, a sect in Adivasis, have handicrafts as their livelihood. The women and men are used to making toys (bommalu) by using a type of soil and wood. Earlier, ITDA created self-help groups and the people would get money from the government. The thrift groups were made unemployed due to lack of government’s support. The plight of these artisans is vulnerable.
PP: Was the issue of TSPSC paper leakage scam referred to in your HHJA and had any unemployed youth brought up the issue?
Bhatti: Some of the youths referred to the issue and told me that they got distressed at not getting government jobs because of such scams. My demand has been that the government should sack chairman and secretary and other higher officials of TSPSC immediately to create a confidence among distressed unemployed youth. A judicial investigation needs to find the culprits in the case.
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