Bandi Sanjay Kumar trudges on to spread BJP footprint across Telangana

On Sunday, Sanjay celebrated the National Panchayati Raj Day at Narva, by holding a meeting and felicitating people’s representatives from the BJP.

Published: 25th April 2022 09:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2022 09:00 AM   |  A+A-

BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar

BJP Telangana State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar. (File photo)

Express News Service

NARAYANPET: Taking care to hide the fact that he is suffering from dehydration and acute gastroenteritis, BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar brushes aside doctor's advice to go ahead with his padayatra in Narva mandal headquarters on Sunday.

He trudges on in the scorching summer heat, addressing two meetings before taking a short medical break. Usually, Sanjay's day starts at around 6 am. After completing his morning routine, he meets visitors before resuming the padayatra, always after performing 'Gau Puja'.

Life in Narva, a small town that looks more like a major gram panchayat, goes on at its own languid pace. Sanjay’s padayatra appeared to have shaken the town out of its slumber. Like he had done in every village, Sanjay garlands an Ambedkar statue as well as Sakali Ailamma's statue right next to it, before receiving a group of people from the Boya Valmiki community.

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They hand him a representation for inclusion of the Boya Valmiki in the ST list.  There are 2.3 lakh Boya Valmikis across Palamuru region comprising five districts and their numbers make them a decisive force during elections. Sanjay has been able to impress upon them that only BJP could do justice to them. 

Members of the Madasi Kurva community too had represented Sanjay for inclusion in the SC list. Incidentally, they were in the SC list before the merger of Hyderabad state with erstwhile AP in 1956. His BC background helps strike a chord with the communities and they are confiding in him, at least for the time being.  

Sanjay’s padayatra is definitely not similar to the one taken out by YS Rajasekhara Reddy. Though Sanjay’s padayatra too has an event similar to 'Racchabanda', his interactions are pre-planned. YSR's interactions were anywhere and everywhere and the spontaneity endeared him to the people.

On Sunday, Sanjay celebrated the National Panchayati Raj Day at Narva, by holding a meeting and felicitating people’s representatives from the BJP.

Addressing the gathering comprising mostly of BJP leaders and workers from Hyderabad and other districts including Palamuru region, he challenged the Chief Minister to release a white paper on the funds spent on gram panchayats, excluding Central funding through finance commissions and centrally-sponsored schemes. "What happened to KCR's promise of rewarding gram panchayats with Rs 50 lakh if they elected their sarpanches unanimously?" he asked. 

"KCR announced that Rs 25,000 crore would be spent for 'Mana Ooru Mana Pranalika', just to lure the sarpanches. When sarpanches realised that the State government was giving nothing to gram panchayats and the Centre was releasing everything, he brought the Panchayat Raj Amendment Act in the state, to have complete control over the sarpanches," Sanjay alleged. 

He criticised the CM for celebrating Panchayati Raj Day at Lakshmidevipally gram panchayat in Warangal district, where he had ministers and MLAs by his side, and presided over by the local MLA. "Does the Sarpanch’s role of first citizen of the village not apply anymore?" Sanjay asked, alleging that funds meant for GPs were being diverted for other schemes. 

During the meeting, sarpanches and MPTCs vent out their frustration, saying that they were being ill-treated and ignored because they belonged to BJP.  Sanjay's padayatra may not appear to be building the emotional connection that YSR was able to do, but it appears to have laid a platform that would give him an inside view of how BJP's booth-level committees are working in the villages, the local issues, emergence of new leaders, strategies to deploy before the elections and more.

India Matters


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