Former Chairman of Telangana Legislative Council K Swamy Goud is a name to reckon with especially among the employee circles as he holds control over them. Considering his active role in the Telangana movement, KCR had given him a chance to become the first Chairman of the Telangana State Legislative Council. But KCR dumped him without giving him an extension for the second term. Annoyed at the developments, Swamy Goud of late, began to play BC card indicating his disenchantment over losing his importance in the party.
He opens up in his exclusive interview with our Correspondent as revealed during a ‘Talk Show with Aravind Kolli’. Here are the excerpts:
Q: What is the reason for your disenchantment?
Ans: This disenchantment was there right from the day one when Andhra Pradesh was forcibly merged with the Telangana state. Since, as and when the movement crops up, Telangana NGO association stood behind it rock solid. The TNGO was the only organisation, which did not change its name after the Andhra Pradesh merged into Telangana. Every organisation has changed their names except for the TNGO. Subsequently, when KCR launched the Telangana Movement, TNGO promised to support him and kept its promise to date.
TNGO continued its battle for separate Telangana against the state brazing all administrative odds. The TNGO could stall the salary of a Chief Minister during the movement. That was the power of TNGO. “I am proud that I was the member of the TNGO whose members continued to agitate even when they had to sell off Mangal sutras of their wives to get on as they were going without salaries for months.
All this we have done it for the sake of Telangana but not expecting anything in return. One thing let me tell you, we were made weak by branding us as Weaker Sections or backward classes. In fact, we may be weak economically, but we are not either weak mentally or backwards in numbers. These sections have participated in the Telangana Movement in anticipation of a bright future for their next generations to come but not to themselves.
The paradox is that the NGOs today are in the dire state in the absence of PRC, 3 DLs even after the formation of 6 years leave aside benefitting them. You never tried to explain to them the reason. I went around all the constituencies in the state for the past 6 months. It’s horrendous to see the plights of the people especially in those constituencies represented by those who joined the ruling party from other parties.
Q: What exactly your concerns are indicating to? Is that because Telangana protagonists did not get due recognition or the employees are not getting their PRC in time or is that because BT Batch (Bangaru Telangana Batch) are dominating the political scene today?
Ans: You are right. My concern includes all the above three elements. I tell you there was an incident wherein a boy slept on the railway track along with us during our protest programme. The train driver though applied brakes but stopped just 10 feet away from where we slept. We all ran away except for the boy. I scolded him and asked him why did he not run away. I was shell shocked at his reply who said: “Are we not come here to die?”. That was the spirit and the determination with which Telangana people took part in the movement. Today, the same boy had to wait for hours together at his local MLA’s residence. “What mistake the boy had done”?
There are hundreds of such youth, and students, are suffering in silence today including those journalists who stood firm brazing the police atrocities and the girls like Bala Lakshmi who took a bullet. Nobody is there to care for them.
Q: There was the allegation that you have joined hands with Reventh Reddy?
Ans: I tell you what happened. Actually, I was waiting to garland the Papanna Goud statue in Reventh Reddy’s constituency. There was a car siren. I waited thinking that Padma Rao Goud had come. But Reventh arrived at the scene and I garlanded and spoke after Revanth’s speech. Unfortunately, party people had waged a social media campaign against me alleging that I joined Reventh Reddy as I was sold out etc. I am asking today who has joined whom? Pathetically, those people are questioning me who have hurled abuses at KCR till the one hour before joining the party.
Hence, I am appealing to KCR not to get carried away as none of them got elected on his strengths but with the sheer image of KCR. “I agree we all backward people. We do not have the capacity to run the government. Hence, you brought them thinking that they can govern well than Telangana Protagonists. Today, in all 26 constituencies, you don’t find a single party leader at gross root level occupying public position like sarpanch or corporators etc. Because these MLAs were asked to select them. So they distributed posts to all their followers.
Q: It appears that you are heading towards starting ‘TRS Bacho Movement’?
Ans: No. We need to protect our backward class cadre and the TRS party. The responsibility lies on our party leader KCR. They wouldn’t dare talk like this had KCR called them and warned not to insult us by not even inviting us to the meetings. They don’t come to Telangana martyr’s memorial to garland as they never took part in the movement. They do not know what sacrifice is?
Q: Clarify me who’s a fault it is? Is it of those who have joined in the middle or who elevated them to this level?
Ans: It is the fault of both. Because these people have taken advantage of KCR’s success in elections as people reposed faith in him. KCR also believed them and made us sleep outside while he allowed these men to rest in AC rooms. We don’t regret that. But what is pinching us is we are not being invited to the party meetings at least.
Q: There is a talk that you are being ignored by the MLA in your constituency who jumped from TDP?
Ans: He is not the only one. There are many such jump Jilanis in the party against whom I am talking about including my constituency MLA. He is the one who criticised KCR in a function hall till 3 pm and joined the party at 4 pm. Of course, there are 26 other such MLAs like him in the party.
Q: How do you react to the prevailing situation today wherein you can not meet the CM directly being a top NGO leader whereas in the past they used to meet CM without an appointment.
Ans: The only reason for this is KCR’s repeated assurance to resolve all the issues and the confidence they reposed in his leadership and intellectual capabilities.
Q: Do you mean to say the entire Telangana society should continue to repose faith in KCR?
Ans: Yes. His intellectual capabilities cannot be underestimated as he was the one who took classes to many top politicians during NTR regime.
Q: What do you think whether this blind belief of people in KCR would harm or benefit Telangana society in the days to come?
Ans: I don’t say people are blindly believing KCR. But he may not be knowing everything that is happening outside his purview. It is our responsibility to take them to his notice. I know I may lose in the process. But still, I feel it is my responsibility as blind belief is also not good for any society.
My only contention is to ask KCR to recognise those who participated in the Telangana movement and provide all facilities to employees and those underprivileged. Do not recognise these jump Jilani’s as true representatives of Telangana.
Q: Is that true that senior IPS officer Stephen Ravindra made a murderous attempt on your life during the movement? And how do you react on the KCR government giving promotion to the same person now?
Ans: See. We have declared in the past that he would suffer as he crossed all official barriers and constitutional limits and went personally to attack me. We have even complained the same to the President of India. It’s ok he has a promotion and we had a demotion.
Q: I heard there is YSR lobby worked behind this move and due to the pressure KCR promoted him?
Ans: See. He is not alone here. We have our own politicians who have beaten us. Be it in Hyderabad and Vikarabad. They have also accused us of not able to do administration. True to this, KCR also believed in their capabilities and made them ministers thinking that they are real Telangana warriors.
Q: Do you have plans to establish your own party?
Ans: No. It’s not in our capacity. It is out of our purview. Hence, I along with my other colleagues continue to represent KCR about our plights.
Q: Do you think he will give you an appointment? Did you ever ask for his appointment?
Ans: I might have sought his appointment 50 times at least. Doesn’t matter, even he doesn’t give the appointment, I would sit in front of his house and meet him.
Q: What next?
Ans: I am still in the party as of now. If KCR calls me and asks me I will explain everything.
Q: Your anguish is because KCR is not giving you an appointment?
Ans: No. In fact, I was trolled by party people on social media accusing me of joining hands with Reventh. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have come out like this.
Q: Do you agree that because of KCR’s style of functioning, resentment is brewing in the party?
Ans: The only resentment people have this he is encouraging those who are not with him in times of crisis and distributing the fruits of Yagna to them leaving people like us who have provided all the inputs required by you to complete Yagna and stood by you in your testing times. Otherwise, we have no qualms about anything else in him.