Is Prof Kodandaram Telangana’s Arvind Kejriwal?

Floats Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) for Aam Aadmi, fires salvos at Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao; party to contest 2019 elections solo
TJAC chairman Professor M Kodandaram announces his new political party Telangana Jana Samithi in Hyderabad on Monday | Vinay Madapu
TJAC chairman Professor M Kodandaram announces his new political party Telangana Jana Samithi in Hyderabad on Monday | Vinay Madapu

HYDERABAD: Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) chairman M Kodandaram has taken a political avatar to play the role of Telangana’s Arvind Kejriwal for the Aam Aadmi (commoners) of the new State.
The Political Science professor, who acted as a guiding force for the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) during the final phase of statehood movement, on Monday announced the launch of a new political party, “Telangana Jana Samithi” (TJS), amid thunderous applause from TJAC cadres.

Flanked by political veterans, senior advocates, professors and leaders of various students’ unions who had earlier worked with him in the Telangana movement, a calm Kodandaram announced the birth of his new party in a crowded press conference at a hotel here on Monday. He said the party would contest the ensuing Assembly polls, scheduled to be held in 2019 April/May, all alone to oust the TRS government and also to cleanse the present political system. “We will contest the elections all alone. We are not ready to join hands with any other political party,” he said.

“The State government has ignored the aspirations of Telangana people and objectives of the statehood movement. People’s movements are completely suppressed. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has confined himself to his official residence, Pragathi Bhavan. He has become inaccessible to people. I think KCR is the only CM in the entire country who never goes to the Secretariat and keeps himself aloof,” Kodandaram fired salvos at the Chief Minister, for whom he was “ideological advisor” during the statehood movement.

“As the KCR government has miserably failed on all fronts and the CM is ruling the State like a tyrant, we have no option but to launch a new political party to realise the dreams of Telangana martyrs, who laid down their lives for achieving statehood. Our aim is achieving Samajika Telangana, wherein people belonging to all sections of society will enjoy the fruits of the new State and social justice will prevail,” the 62-year-old-professor said. He said the new political outfit would strive hard to bring in a fundamental change in the political system so as to eliminate political corruption and uphold the Constitution and democratic values.

Kodandaram said the party flag would be released and unfurled on April 4. A public meeting will be organised in Hyderabad on April 29 to tell the people about the objectives of the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS).

The former professor made it clear that despite he taking political avatar, the TJAC would continue to remain as an apolitical organisation in Telangana to play the “watchdog” role in the State.When wanted to know whether he would contest the next polls, Kodandaram said his party would decide on this in the coming days.

Who is Prof Kodandaram?
M Kodandaram is a professor in Political Science from Osmania University. This year is the last year of his service Kodandaram was born to Venkatamma and M Janardhan Reddy, a farmer from Mancherial in the then united Adilabad district
In 1980, he joined Hyderabad Central University as a research scholar. After a few months, he returned to Osmania University to join as a lecturer in Political Science. He obtained his doctorate from Osmania University, later. He worked as a civil liberties activist in the 1980s
From 1996, he started organising seminars on the need to form a separate Telangana. Being the president of Telangana Vidyavanthula Vedika (TVV), he intensified his campaign in support of Telangana on various fora from 2003
As the chairman of Telangana Political Joint Action Committee (TJAC), which was formed for achieving Telangana state, he organised several protests

‘TJS voice of commoners’
It would not be a cakewalk for Kodandaram, taking on established political parties like TRS and Congress, which have money power and are also strong at grassroots level. When asked about this, Kodandaram said, “I don’t think crores of money is needed to build a political outfit, which would be a voice for  ordinary people. AAP’s success is a classic example of this.”

Russian inspiration
The professor said that “Reinventing Politics”, a book written by Vladimir Tismaneanu, on East European politics from the time of Soviet domination to the 1989-90 revolutions, inspired him to fight for the cause of commoners. “The people’s movements that were organised in East European countries and Latin America gave many lessons to politicos,” he said.

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