Sunday, April 21, 2024

Congress failed to emerge as an alternative: Vinod

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NAVEENA GHANATE

The BRS candidate in the Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency, Boinapalli Vinod Kumar, said that the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections will be different with the BRS gaining ground. In an interview with ‘The Pioneer’ in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, Vinod speaks about the three-way fight in Karimnagar and the impact of Ram Mandir among others.
Q: Why should people vote for a regional party in the Lok Sabha elections?
A: In Parliament election this is the time for voters to vote for regional parties like us which fight for Telangana. We will be more focused on our rights and the State’s development. There is a need to have the pink flag in Parliament. I am confident that the BRS will win most of the LS constituencies despite its setback in the Assembly polls.
Q: Isn’t KCR’s silence affecting the party and now the opposition too is commenting about it?
A: There is nothing like that with KCR. During the Lok Sabha elections, he will campaign a lot. He will conduct a Bus Yatra and will be addressing small meetings in villages. Our focus is on small meetings rather than big meetings. We are yet to finalise the Bus Yatra route. Mostly we will be organising corner meetings.
Q: At the national level who is going to win? How do you address the theory that the BRS and the BJP are one?
A: As of now, the Congress has not succeeded in becoming a strong opposition party in the country. The Congress didn’t tell the country that it is an alternative. Due to this, there may be some chance for the NDA. The Congress says that we are the B team of the BJP and the BJP says we are the B team of the Congress. We are nobody’s B Team. These accusations are aimed at defaming us. We defeated Bandi Sanjay Kumar, Eatala Rajender and Arvind Dharmapuri.
Q: Who is your main opponent in Karimnagar?
A: Last time the Congress candidate gave up the contest and its cadres supported the BJP. This time as the Congress is in power in the State. They will work hard for their candidate. It will be a triangular fight between the BJP, the BRS and the Congress and so I will win. They are going to vote for us.
Q: Has Bandi Sanjay Kumar failed as an MP?
A: He didn’t care about development and didn’t even allot time for the state. He didn’t speak a word for the state and didn’t do anything for it. After winning as an MP, he focused only on building up his party, for which he focused on raising religion-based issues. When we go to Parliament people expect us to attend sessions, meet ministers and seek solutions to the problems of the state.
Q: Will the Ram Mandir and the CAA impact elections?
A: I don’t think that the Ram Mandir issue would have a big impact on elections. When it comes to our state, particularly Karimnagar, Bandi Sanjay Kumar, is making noise. Overall there might be some impact across the country. But it is not right to use religion. The CAA will not have any impact in Telangana.
Q: What is it that you are doing differently now compared to 2019?
A: In 2019, when I was a sitting MP, I thought that I had worked well and would certainly win. As the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections were held almost simultaneously, I thought MLAs would look after the campaigning. But this time, I visited villages and mandals extensively. I met voters directly this time. I will definitely win this time.
Q: What is the impact of the Kaleshwaram scam and crops withering due to lack of water in your constituency?
A: The Congress has to take the blame for crops withering in mandals like Mustabad and Thangalapally. But the delay in repairing the Kaleshwaram piers which sank is going to affect the Congress government. We are telling farmers that if the Congress had taken up repairs of the sunken piers by constructing a coffer dam and pumping up water, today mid-manair and lower manair would have had water.
Q: KCR said you have a clean image but recently Rs 6 crore was seized from Pratima Hotel. There are also reports of your brother’s involvement in taking away Bhoodan lands worth Rs 500 crore.
A: I don’t have any connection with what my relatives do. They had a hotel, a cancer hospital and a medical college. The money is legal as it is business. They will answer IT officials. I am not connected to it. When I found out about the Bhoodan Lands issue, I thought that it was wrong. The lands were in the prohibited list and were actually to be removed. If one survey number was taken during land acquisition, a part of the land was put in the prohibited list on the Dharani Portal. Two to three survey numbers of Bhoodan lands were kept in the prohibited list. I am not connected to it. They are businessmen.

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