When I set out this morning from Nennuru in Chittoor district, I was once again reminded of how some people suffered greatly after losing all their life savings. I met Battala Subramanyam from Kuppam Baduru, who is a victim of the Agrigold scam. He told me—“Anna I joined the Agri Gold scheme and also asked about a hundred of my relatives and acquaintances to sign up. I invested Rs.5 lakhs and got them to invest 10 lakhs. My condition is desperate now because all those who had invested money and were put to loss come to me every single day and press me for the money they have lost. The stress I have undergone over the last few years has caused BP and diabetes. I had even attempted to commit suicide once, but because of my children and hoping that we would see better days I am still alive,” he said with tears in his eyes.
As I kept listening to the troubles of Agri Gold victims, I felt deeply saddened. All of them saved every penny they had, hoping to get a daughter married or a son educated. Instead in the end, they were put to untold suffering and great loss, thanks to this massive scam. There are about nine lakh Agri Gold victims in Andhra Pradesh and a majority of them are workers, small farmers and people drawn from the middle class. About 200 victims of Agri Gold after losing hope, died out of shock and sorrow. It is astonishing that the government has been completely insensitive to the plight of the Agri Gold victims. If Rs.1100 crores were to be released right away relief would be provided to about 80% of the victims. The Government is fully aware of this and yet it does nothing. How does one explain this apathy of the Chandrababu Naidu government towards Agri Gold victims? When I visited those affected by the Agri Gold scam who were staging a protest, the government announced that it would release Rs.5 lakhs as compensation, but even though this assurance was given in the assembly only two or three of the Agri Gold victims got relief. This itself shows the sincerity and commitment of the government.
Is this how people who have suffered economically should be supported by the government? I have resolved that after the People’s government comes to power, I will ensure that Rs. 1100 crores is released immediately providing relief to 80% of the Agri Gold victims. This commitment of mine got strengthened to a further extent today.
One of the biggest lakes in the state dates back to the era of Krishna Deva Raya and as I was walking past Rayala Cheruvu, I realised that it was a special experience. The lake is more than 500 years old and is living testimony to the foresight of the great Sri Krishna Deva Raya. His vision does not cease to surprise me. His sincerity and commitment towards the people of the region were truly exemplary as this lake demonstrates. What a contrast to the present day rulers who invest in rain guns and rain harvesting only to delude and fool people! The present day rulers have an eye only on politics. Near Sanjeeva Puram, I met a 67 year old woman who narrated her heart rending story to me. 40 years ago, she had lost her husband. She suffered a greater tragedy when she lost her daughter. During my father, the late Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s time, she used to get a pension which has been stopped now. A short while later, in the Harijan Wada of Balijapally, I met Bujamma who came with her 10-year-old deaf and mute son. He was declared deaf and mute at birth and had a certificate declaring him to be affected with hundred per cent impairment. Yet, he has been denied pension which I found shocking! Chandrababu has now declared that even if there were two or three eligible persons per household, they would get pensions. Four years have gone by and Chandrababu Naidu is suddenly reminded of these promises!
In nadavuluru, I met retired personnel of the paramilitary forces. The centre had issued orders saying that their services should be treated on par with ex-servicemen and yet the state government did not pay heed to their pleas. Is this how you treat soldiers who sacrifice their lives to protect our borders and who face the most difficult situations within the country as well for the security of the nation? Is this the humanity that we ought to show them? Is this how you honour their sacrifices? In conclusion, I have a question for Mr. Chandrababu Naidu. Before the elections, you had said that you will extend every possible help to the agri-gold victims. Though there are clear avenues of providing relief to them why is it that you are totally insensitive to their plight? Is it only because your proxies and ministers have an eye on their assets?