INTERVIEW | Medak seat is mine, Congress, BRS competing for second place: BJP's Raghunandan

In an exclusive interview with TNIE’s P Krishna, the BJP leader slams the Congress and BRS for questioning the saffron party’s commitment in contributing to the development of Telangana.
BJP’s Medak candidate M Raghunandan Rao
BJP’s Medak candidate M Raghunandan Rao Photo | Facebook

The determination to see the BJP forming the government at the Centre for the third time is as strong among the people as it is in candidates like me, says M Raghunandan Rao who is contesting from the Medak Lok Sabha constituency. In an exclusive interview with TNIE’s P Krishna, the BJP leader slams the Congress and BRS for questioning the saffron party’s commitment in contributing to the development of Telangana. While expressing confidence that he will “surely” secure the Medak seat, Raghunandan claims that the candidates of Congress and BRS were only competing for the second place.

Excerpts from the interview

What kind of response have you been receiving during your campaign?

I have been receiving a tremendous response. This is despite the extreme heat that the state is currently experiencing. Wherever I go, be it a town or a small village, people are welcoming me with “mangala haarati”. Though the BRS leaders claim that they have a strong hold in Siddipet and Gajwel, the BJP has been getting excellent support in these two constituencies. This is evident from the fact that thousands of people attended the recent public meetings addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Patancheru and Andole.

Are you getting the right kind of support from your party colleagues?

Excellent. That’s how I want to describe the cooperation I am getting from my colleagues. The party cadre and leaders are working together to ensure my victory. Both the state and district-level leaders are working with such enthusiasm that one wonders if they themselves are in the fray. That shows their sincerity and how much they are committed to the cause of the party. With that kind of support, I am sure that we are going to secure the Medak seat with a huge majority.

Your rivals keep targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a daily basis, claiming that he has done nothing for Telangana in the last 10 years. Don’t you think it will affect your electoral prospects?

Not at all. Because the BJP-led Union government under the leadership of Narendra Modi has carried out several development works in Telangana. Akola-Nanded highway under Medak Lok Sabha segment, expansion of highways, construction of four-lane road from Medak to Siddipet, modernisation of railway stations, construction of new railway lines, allocation and release of funds directly to panchayats for development works in rural areas are some of them. If not for the Centre’s cooperation, the state government wouldn’t have had a petrol station to fill fuel in the chief minister’s car. And what has the Congress done for the state since it formed the government? It increased the state’s debt burden by `30,000 crores in just five months.

Whom do you consider as your main rival in this election?

I am not competing with anyone. I am very confident that I will win the Medak seat. The BRS and Congress candidates are competing for the second place.

What kind of promises are you making to the people while seeking their votes?

My main assurance to the people is that after elections I will do everything in my capacity to transform Medak into a model constituency. I also believe that development should never be concentrated in one region. Take for example Patancheru. Because of the presence of all the industries in Patancheru, youth got some employment opportunities only in that area. But we also have this problem of pollution. That’s why I am of the opinion that industries should be set up in every corner of the district. My endeavour will be to bring industries to almost all areas of the constituency including Dubbak, Gajwel and Medak. We will try to establish agro-based industries. People of the constituency want metro rail services extended from Miyapur to Patancheru and from there to Sangareddy. We will try to address this issue with the cooperation of the Union government.

But six out of the seven Assembly segments under Medak LS constituency are being represented by the BRS MLAs... Won’t it affect your chances of winning the seat?

People are wise. They know that there is no point in supporting the BRS. They are now with the BJP. They have decided to support the BJP candidates. They also want to see Narendra Modi taking oath as the prime minister for the third consecutive time for the overall development of the constituency and the country.

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