HYDERABAD: The selection of the route of the second phase of BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar's 'Praja Sangrama Yatra' has been strategic.
The BJP MP has trudged through the parched lands of Palamuru region that reports high migration, weavers and other artisans deprived of livelihoods and promises unkept, giving him the perfect weapon to rake up an anti-establishment sentiment, appears to have dominated the Telangana sentiment.
The irrigation pitch
It began with Sanjay raising the pitch for modernisation of Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS), which was originally designed to irrigate 87.500 acres. Despite the State government constructing Tummilla LIS as a workaround for RDS, most of the farmers under the ayacut found their lands without water.
This issue was exploited by Sanjay, and the letter from the Krishna and Tungabhadra river management boards that the project’s modernisation works could be completed within 6 months was an icing on the cake for him.
In Narayanpet district, irrigation was the central theme. The people of Narayanpet and Kodangal Assembly constituencies put forth their long-standing demand of implementing GO 69 to construct Narayanpet-Kodangal LIS, which was discontinued after the formation of Telangana, when the State government had decided to merge that project with Palamuru-Rangareddy LIS (PRLIS).
This meant that despite the Krishna River flowing just 20 km away, people from 10 mandals in these constituencies had to wait for completion of PRLIS, when water would be delivered from 300 km away to irrigate their lands.
The demand for implementation was rai-sed time and again by Jala Sadhana Samithi, Palamuru Adhyayana Vedika and various organisations in the past. This demand echoed across these constituencies during Sanjay’s tour.
On top of that, Sanjay has effectively managed to convey that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao surrendered the interests of the people of Palamuru region by submitting to the Centre that Telangana’s share of Krishna River waters was only 299 tmcft, though 67 per cent of its catchment area was within the state.
He said that meant the State deserved 575 TMC as its rightful share. With the Padmashali community (weavers), Sanjay built an emotional connect by relating to their problems.
High migration among that community is reported from almost every village in Narayanpet, and this was effectively used by him to demolish the TRS government's claims of reverse migration happening in the region. TRS was quick to mitigate the damage by sending IT Minister KT Rama Rao to address a public meeting in Narayanpet right after Sanjay had moved ahead.
Boya Valmikis who were promised inclusion in list of STs, Madasi Kuruvas in SCs and Mudirajus of Mahbubnagar expressing how they were being targeted politically and how their lands were being forcibly acquired in the name of ring road showed how a section of BCs was consolidating itself as a vote bank to BJP's benefit in the next elections.
BC background helped Sanjay
Hailing from the BC community has had its own advantage for Sanjay, as Mudirajus in Mahabubnagar, Boya Valmikis and Madasi Kuruvas of Jogulamba Gad-wal and Wanaparthy distri-cts, met him in almost every village during his padayatra