Nidadavolu, West Godavari District: It is popularly believed that falsehood travels much faster than truth. Perhaps because he has immense faith in this concept, Chandrababu Naidu has been propagating lies endlessly trying to deceive the people over and over again. He has been spending crores of rupees from the state treasury to celebrate four years of his rule, trying to convince people that he has fulfilled all his election promises, that he has shown no discrimination in the implementation of welfare schemes and that the people of the state live happily under TDP, free of corruption and looting. These are the patent falsehoods he has been repeating constantly.
However, today on my Padayatra, I came across another example of Chandrababu Naidu’s discrimination-ridden, corrupt regime and style of functioning. The truth is that on my Padayatra so far, not a single day has passed when I did not receive complaints about the TDP’s discriminating nature of governance.
Workers of the Chagallu Sugar Factory along with farmers who met me today narrated at length the agony they have been going through for the past four years. Instead of selling the assets of the company and rendering justice to the workers and farmers, the TDP leadership struck a deal with the management and has set in motion an auction process which is purely nominal in nature. Their experience holds a mirror up to the anti-farmer, anti-worker TDP government and its style of functioning.
People told me about how the riverbed by the Godavari had been dug up indiscriminately using sophisticated machinery by the local people’s representatives and officials. Graft from this illegal sand mining mafia went all the way up to the highest levels in the TDP, to “Pedda Babu and Chinna Babu”—Babu Sr. and Babu Jr., they pointed out.
Farmers from Nidadavolu this evening showed me the bridge across the main canal of the Western Delta, which had collapsed. The collapsed bridge was a glaring reflection, a symbol of the corruption which is associated with Pushkarams under TDP.
Vani Lakshmi told me that she had been working as an animator and was removed from service only because she was an ardent supporter of YS Jagan! Residents of Rajukula Veedhi and Kommunavari Veedhi in Munipalli village were indignant that they were being denied pensions and loans only because they were supporters of YSRCP.
Sudha Rani, who met me near Kalacharla, said that her services as Field Assistant in the Employment Guarantee scheme, had been terminated only because she refused to toe the line of corrupt TDP leaders and higher-ups. She was upset psychologically as a result of this and her health suffered, she complained. Suri Babu got kidney surgery done for his child borrowing lakhs of rupees. He has been denied assistance from the Chief Minister‘s Relief Fund only because he is a supporter of YSRCP. With no coverage under Arogyasri and no assistance from the Chief Minister‘s Relief Fund, he was going through living hell, which was nothing but an example of the inhuman attitude of the Chandrababu government.
Veeramallu Prasanti, Sarpanch of Tallapalem, narrated to me her humiliating experience of being ignored and her powers nullified, in spite of having been elected as the people’s representative in her village on a YSRCP ticket. The fact that she is a woman representative from a BC community did not deter the TDP leaders, she complained. This was yet another example of the false concern which Chandrababu Naidu tried to displayed towards the weaker sections of society.
I have a question for the chief minister—you have diluted many welfare schemes in your four-year rule. Everyone knows that only a trickle percolates to the people in the end. Who are you trying to cheat by claiming that you have been implementing welfare schemes irrespective of party affiliations? Do you have the moral right to seek the mandate of the people in the next elections?