November 9, 2017

Yarraguntla, YSR District: My padayatra on Day 4 ended at 9.33 pm when I reached the camp site at Yarraguntla, 12.2 km from Uruturu, from where I started my journey in the morning. I started at 8.45 am and all along the yatra route, there were milling crowds and there was unbounded enthusiasm in full flow. Such was the crowd that there was not an inch of space to move around. All along the way, I greeted senior citizens, farmers, farmhands, employees and students who turned out in impressive numbers to meet me. Anantamma, a senior citizen, came to meet me all the way from Sanjamala in Kurnool district. She assured me that the demonic rule of Chandrababu would soon end and donated Rs 50,000 to the party fund. How can I ever repay her? All I can do for her is to strain every sinew to realize the dream of Rajanna Rajyam.

Groundnut farmers met me at Y Konduru. They had sowed groundnut as it was selling at Rs 10,000 per quintal in the market. But by the time they harvested the crop, the price plummeted to Rs 5,000, which is far too less as seen against their input cost. Ditto with the black gram crop. Before harvest, the per quintal price was Rs 13,000. By the time the crop was harvested, the prices fell to Rs 4,000. The story is is no different in the case of coriander and turmeric. A turmeric farmer on the outskirts of Yarraguntla narrated his plight. His crop loan was not waived. Whatever little waiver that the government had given wasn’t enough even to pay the interest on the loan. Why should the farmer, who toils tirelessly to feed the countrymen, end up with huge losses? To alleviate their lot, I have all along been rooting for constituting a price stabilization fund.

This has been one of the cardinal elements of the Navaratnalu that I promised to the people of the state. I asked the farmers if they were aware of my Navaratnalu. They said they were happy about them. Hesitatingly, a farmer said: The Farmers’ Reassurance Fund amount should be hiked. The other farmers joined the chorus. I said I would consider their suggestion. In the evening, I brought this issue to the notice of the people at a largely attended meeting at Yarraguntla. I told the gathering that the remunerative price would be decided early on during the crop season on the basis of the input cost, cost of the labour and the minimum profit. I also told them that the remunerative price would be decided quite early. To ensure this, I would also set up a Price Stabilisation Fund.

Later, students of Fathima Medical College met me with their heart-rending tale. The Government was insensitive while the college was admitting students--right left and centre without permission. What is worse is that the NTR Health University had accorded recognition to these admissions. The management had collected hefty amounts from the students and now when the MCI cancelled those seats, the State Government is doing nothing. It abandoned the students to their fate, though it could very well have taken remedial action. Ironically, Chandrababu Naidu had used these students during the Nandyal bypolls. He conned them into believing that the issue was resolved in their favour. Gullible students and their parents had even felicitated him. He stooped this low only to garner a handful of votes from the minority community. As is his wont, he dumped them soon after the elections were over. When similar problems cropped up in states like Karnataka and Rajasthan, the state governments of the day held parleys with the Centre and resolved the issue out of humanitarian considerations. Though a partner in the Government at the Centre, Chandrababu did precious little and remained apathetic.

On Thursday, several employees met me and thanked me for my stand on the issue of contributory pension. Several contract employees from Rayalaseema Thermal Power Plant, who have been working for ages without getting regularized, met me and sought my support. I assured them that I would regularize their jobs once my government is formed.
YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

On Thursday, I wrapped up my tour of Kamalapuram assembly constituency and stepped into Jammalamadugu. Imagine the transformation this constituency would have undergone had my father been alive. More than 10,000 people would have got direct employment if only the Brahmani Steel Project had been completed. Several thousands more would have got indirect employment through secondary and tertiary industries. Gandikota would have got transformed into a great tourism hub. Mylavaram dam would have been modernized. But, now, this area is desolate, with little hope of growth, progress and employment.

I want to question the Government about the countless promises it made relating to the development of Jammalamadugu. They made scores of promises both before and after elections. I would like to know when they would fulfill them.