Chandrababu And His Anti-Dalit Party Should Go

AP Leader of Opposition YS Jagan Mohan Reddy - Sakshi Post

Dargah Centre, Peddapuram, East Godavari District: Along every step of the Padayatra in Samarlakota and Peddapuram municipalities today, salaried employees narrated their problems to me. The rank neglect of welfare governance and the watering down of schemes and projects once again came to the fore today. Contract employees, outsourcing staff of various departments and part-time teaching staff met me today. They expressed their anguish at insecurity regarding their jobs they were now gripped with, though they have been working for decades. Rajkumar narrated at length, the problems that teaching staff in aided institutions were facing. It is extremely disheartening to learn that though they had been working for two decades, imparting education and shaping the careers of future generations, they were being paid a mere Rs. 7,000. What is even more shocking is that they are paid only for 10 months! Though they were given the same workload as regular teaching staff, they were not even paid a tenth of their salary! They were forcibly made to participate in government functions and ruling party programmes, but no one paid heed to their problems. “Sir, is this not bonded labour? Daily wage workers are better off compared to us. We hope and pray that you will come to power and work for our betterment,” they said.

To be paid Rs. 7,000 after having worked for decades, is unforgivable on the part of the government, considering the fact that many of them are close to retirement. It was indeed a sad sight to see teachers who occupy such a noble place in our culture and society, to be reduced to this condition. Is this the place of honour we accord to the noble community of teachers?

“Although we’re called security guards, we ourselves lack security,” said security guards from the agriculture market yard. Anganwadi contract supervisors said that their services had not been regularised even after 14 years. Municipal contract employees, craft teachers and Second ANMs had similar tales to tell and submitted their petitions to me. All of them were salaried employees who felt cheated and betrayed by Chandrababu Naidu.

Villagers of Valuthimmapuram, Kondapalli and neighbouring hamlets were furious with Chandrababu saying that the Telugu Desam practised the principle of prejudice against Dalits and not Dalita Tejam. Hundreds of acres of land which had been theirs for four decades, was now being grabbed by Telugu Desam leaders over the past 4 years. During my father the late Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s tenure, loans of these poor Dalit farmers were waived, borewells dug, crops provided and drips given.

The Telugu Desam leaders, in contrast, promised to get the land levelled and give it to them. They sold the gravel for crores of rupees after cheating, threatening and coercing them. Their land is now of no use to them, they complained.

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The TDP’s anti-Dalit attitude became evident from the behaviour of the Samarlakota MP. The Mandal lady MPP, a Dalit passed away last year. While another Dalit MPP was supposed to have been elected in her place in the stipulated time, the ruling party leaders tried to prevent elections. The reason for this was that they wanted to get the vice president who belonged to an upper caste, appointed. “Sir, is this not prejudice against Dalits?” This was the question posed by these poor SCs.

Under the Telugu Desam regime, SC, BC welfare is a mirage and exists only on paper, on their manifesto. When will Baba saheb Ambedkar’s dream of an egalitarian society be realised if the constitutional rights of SCs and weaker sections are trampled upon in this manner?

I have a question for the chief minister—you had claimed on page 24 of your manifesto, that land would be acquired and provided to the landless. Can you deny the painful reality that not only have you not acted on your promise, but land which rightfully belongs to the scheduled castes is being grabbed from them in your rule? Is it not true that you are benefiting to the extent of crores of rupees from soil sold from land belonging to the poor, which is being discriminately dug up, denying them their right to livelihood?

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