Perikegudem, Krishna District: My padayatra began this morning in Kaikaluru constituency listening to the problems and grievances of the people there. Dalits of Kanukolu Harijan colony came up to me and said: "Anna, some leaders of the ruling party have taken over all the local lakes illegally in the name of prawn farming. All the water bodies in and around our villages have now become salty and neither we nor our animals find the saline water fit for consumption. We don't know why it is only under Telugu Desam rule that Dalits suffer the most.

These TDP leaders couldn't be bothered whether we go thirsty without water and whether our animals drop dead with parched throats. all that matters to them is the revenue that prawn farmining generates for them through the lakes in our villages." In the bargain they are earning crores of rupees at our cost, they said.

Read: Why Shouldn’t Chandrababu Be Sent To Jail: YS Jagan

At the interactive session this evening with the Dalit community, they poured their heart out and vented their ire. They repeated that it was only during the TDP rule that atrocities were indiscriminately inflicted upon the Dalits. It was only under the TDP that Dalit lands were grabbed with impunity. They demanded to know why SC hostels were being shut and scholarships denied. They were fuming at the thought that their access to education was being constricted. They wondered why they were at the receiving end of government policies when it came to governance and welfare.

On the one hand, the chief minister wonders why anyone would like to be born a Dalit! Not to be left far behind his cabinet colleague points a finger at Dalits saying that they are unhygienic, illiterate and are unworthy of being helped. Under such a government, one can well imagine the plight of Dalits. They are bound to suffer.

Fishermen of the Kolleru region poured out their woes and lamented that many families from the fishermen community had migrated in search of jobs and livelihood. I assured them of better days to come in the not too distant future and told them that under Rajanna Rajyam, justice would be meted to all sections of society.

I have a question for the CM—At the time of elections, you played the Dalit card, beating drums and hailing yourself as one of the foremost representatives of the Dalit community. Why is it then that atrocities against Dalits have reached an all-time high under your rule taking Andhra Pradesh to the fourth position in this category? Do you have answer for this? You have divided the Dalits into two groups for your own selfish political ends and have betrayed both. Do you think you will not face the consquences for your actions?