NIZAMABAD: All eyes are on Kalvakuntla Kavitha who is raring to represent Nizamabad in the Lok Sabha for a second term. Nevertheless, the elections have become a little dicey for the leader with angry farmers from her constituency raising their long-pending demands for a turmeric board, inclusion of turmeric in the list of crops eligible for Minimum Support Price and protection of interests of red jowar farmers.
As if that was not enough, D Aravind would be contesting against her on behalf of the BJP. Kavitha and Aravind have been at daggers drawn for a long time now; in fact, this was one of the alleged reasons why the TRS had sidelined the latter’s father and Rajya Sabha member D Srinivas, forcing him to return to the Congress.
Express caught up with the MP as she was about to set out for her day’s campaigning and sought to know her plan of action in facing her rivals this election season. Interestingly, Kavitha evaded any questions on whether the TRS would be part of the Federal Front government, if formed, and whether she would be in the Central Cabinet, if elected to power. Excerpts:
How is your election campaign going?
You should tell me that. The media is a better judge of the response from the people. Nevertheless, I’d like to say I’m very happy with the public response. In Nizamabad Parliamentary constituency, the TRS is very strong. We have booth committees in place and they have helped us win the recent Assembly elections. Every day I’m addressing 25,000 people at public meetings organised in several parts of the Assembly segments in my constituency.
What is your strategy to win the polls with 178 farmers in the fray?
There is no need for any strategy. The TRS government is farmer-friendly. The Chief Minister is implementing Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Beema schemes, which have become role models for all other states and the Centre. On the red jowar issue, the government has procured the crop last year and cleared arrears of earlier years. As far as setting up of Turmeric Board is concerned, I am continuing my efforts. Farmers know how many times I had represented the issue to the Union government. I had even introduced in Lok Sabha a private member bill on the establishment of a Turmeric Broad. The Opposition parties here have provoked farmers with an eye on political benefit. However, I am hopeful that farmers would understand.
What about the issue of Nizam Sugar Factory?
The State government has taken all the steps for the revival of Nizam Sugars but the farmers have not come forward to run the factory. Nonetheless, the government is continuing its efforts. The court cases are different story altogether. I found out that several political parties who were questioning the government’s commitment to the factory’s revival are now speaking about the privatisation of the same.
You have been raising the need for a Federal Front. But several regional parties like the ones in Andhra Pradesh are opposed to the concept. Comments?
This is true, but this is only a pre-poll understanding. In a post poll scenario, a majority of regional parties will join the Federal Front. I hope that Federal Front forms the new government at the Centre.
If Federal Front forms the government, are you going to be part of the Cabinet?
That will be decided by the party. In the TRS, no one has personal interest. The party will take a final decision and everyone in the party should abide by it.
KTR has already announced that B Vinod Kumar who is contesting from Lok Sabha constituency will become the Union Minister but so far, no word about you has been said. Why?
I don’t know. I will follow party’s decision.
The representation of women in TRS is very poor, not to mention in KCR’s Cabinet. Will this be addressed if you come to power?
I hope the 17th Lok Sabha clears the Women Reservation Bill and provide 33 per cent reservations to women in Parliament and State Assemblies. All concerns with regard to representation would be
resolved with the Bill’s passing.