This morning when I set out from Godkavaripalli in Chittoor, at Gandlapalli I met farmers and women workers by the road. They told me about the suffering that cultivators were put to by the Chandrababu Naidu government. For generations they had been dependent on agriculture, but for the past four years they have been experiencing indescribable suffering. When I enquired about their situation they replied that they had taken a crop loan of one lakh rupees. Forget about waiving the loan, the banks now demand repayment of the loan with interest. Without minimum support price they are put to great loss. I was completely speechless. If a farmer who struggles all through the year does not get minimum support price for his crops and if he cannot sell his crop for a fair price how can he survive? Who else can support the farmer if not the government? The Chandrababu Naidu government seems to have lost its sense of priorities. No wonder crop production has come down over the past four years. Agriculture has become one of the most neglected areas and food security remains a distant dream. Farmers are forced into an unending cycle of debts making their survival itself very difficult. For both my father as well as for me, the welfare of farmers has always been of highest priority. It has always been right at the top of our agenda. Near Sadum, I met contract lecturers who explained their problems at length to me. They said that they were barely able to survive on meagre salaries and that the Chandrababu Naidu government had gone back on its assurance to regularise their services. When he was in the Opposition, Chandrababu Naidu championed their case vociferously and even participated in their protests. At that time, he had assured them that their services would be regularised if he was elected. It has been four years since he came to power. What has happened to that assurance? Isn’t this nothing but deception?
Along the way a short while later, I met employees of 104 services who lamented that their salaries are not being enhanced and they did not have the required facilities. I felt deeply saddened by how this prestigious project launched by my father the late Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy, had been completely diluted by Chandrababu Naidu. Instead of strengthening it and widening its scope, what he has done is there for all to see—we find the bedraggled remains of a prestigious project today.Without medicines or medical facilities the scheme is languishing in a state of abject neglect. There is no proper monitoring of the project and it has been carelessly watered down. Chandrababu Naidu has renamed the scheme and has launched it under the name of Chandranna Sanchara Chikitsa but what is a healthcare scheme without teeth? There is more hype and publicity around the scheme than any real work to substantiate the genuineness of the project.
As I moved on, I was listening to what the local MLA Ramchandra Reddy Anna told me. He said that he had donated his own land which was worth crores of rupees to the government for the construction of a hospital. He did this with the sole objective of serving the poor of the region and to ensure that their healthcare needs are met. However, the Chandrababu Naidu government responded with neglect, indifference and insensitivity. When land is gifted for the construction of a hospital is this how the government ought to respond? Is this the attitude to be shown by any responsible government? During my father’s tenure, an RTC Depot was constructed—buses have not yet been assigned to it. A summer storage tank had been completed—Chandrababu has not yet given his nod for a pipeline, which is the barest necessity after a water storage tank is completed!
Finally, I have a question for the Chief Minister—whether it is the construction of a hospital, or assigning buses to a depot which is complete in every way, whether it is laying of pipelines to a water storage tank, whether it is houses for the poor or pensions or for that matter, an entire spectrum of welfare schemes is not true that nothing has been done and no assurance has been fulfilled? Do you have the moral courage to do a reality check of what has been done in your tenure after visiting this constituency?