Gudlavalleru, Krishna District: This afternoon some construction workers met me near my camp office at the Padayatra site. They pointed out that the construction workers’ welfare fund which was implemented on June 26, 2007, during my father, the late Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy‘s regime was completely watered down by Chandrababu Naidu. They deplored that he was diverted and misusing the funds meant for construction workers. Not spending a rupee on their welfare, he was utilising these funds for party propaganda and his own publicity, they lamented. Linking them with Chandranna insurance, he was diverted funds to that scheme, they said. On the one hand, the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues posed for photograph as part of a publicity blitz which is funded by the diversion of workers' money. What makes it worse is that even in these advertising contracts, huge commissions are involved.
These construction workers said that this was the height of injustice at the hands of this corrupt administration. "Sir, nearly Rs 1,300 crores are available under construction workers welfare fund. This was possible only on account of your father. The injustice of it all is that more than 400 crores from this fund have been diverted towards publicity campaigns, vehicles and Chandranna insurance scheme, among other expenses. Who gave the chief minister the right to spend our money?"
I could understand the righteous indignation of the workers because these funds belong to them and were being spent on other schemes. Chandrababu Naidu thrived on publicity which was generated from the funds of these poor workers who earned their three-square meals by sweating it out in the sizzling summer heat. To dip into their funds reflected the zenith of venality.
A group of blackgram (minumu) farmers met me near Vadlamannadu. They pointed to sacks of harvested crops by the road and told me that they had been waiting for me to narrate their problems. "Sir, we sowed blackgram only because we were not getting adequate water for two crops. However, we don't seem to be getting minimum price for this and have fallen upon bad times. This government which is supposed to support us is looting us instead. It is exploiting our helplessness.
Though they have established Points of Sale in many places, strangely enough the price has fallen by 400-500 rupees as compared to earlier times. This is because even these purchase centres have turned corrupt like Janma Bhoomi Committees. The authorities in these centres purchase crops only from Telugu Desam leaders and reject our produce on some pretext or the other. Left with no alternative, the hapless farmers are forced to sell their produce to TDP leaders who operate as middlemen." I feel that more than any pest which plagues the crops of these poor farmers, corruption of the TDP government is the biggest pest which is eating into the vitals of society and ruining the lives of the farmers.
A group of lawyers from Krishna district me me near Kautharam today. They described to me at length the manner in which they were cheated by Chandrababu Naidu, who gave them a host of assurances before elections. They submitted a petition to me saying that they hoped that justice could be done to them under the YSRCP. I promised to do my very best to address their grievances.
Chandrababu Naidu has not spared any segment, social group, caste ot section including. He has the unique distinction of being the only leader to have cheated all strata of society.
My poser to the chief minister—You and your cabinet colleagues claim that farmers of the Krishna Delta region are leading a prosperous life and are a happy lot. If your words have an ounce of truth, why would the prices of leased lands drop so steeply? Why is it that farmers reduce to come forward to take agricultural lands on lease? Why are farmers agitated about inadequate water supply to their fields?