Congress MP Madhu Yaskhi Goud has been a very busy man in the past couple of months. He played a vital role in ensuring the passage of the Telangana bill in Parliament and now he gears up to defend his Nizamabad parliamentary seat.
He is up against TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao’s daughter Kavita, who is making her electoral debut. He also faces some challenge from Bharatiya Janata Party’s E Lakshminarayana, a poplar figure in the region.
In an exclusive interaction with Rediff.com’s Vicky Nanjappa, Goud says that he is certain that the Telangana sentiment will work for him. As he prepares for hectic campaigning, the leader says that the BJP, which was initially expecting to make some gains in the newly-formed state, has wasted its chances after it aligned with the Telugu Desam Party.
On the ‘Telangana sentiment’:
I think this will work wonders for us. This is the major focus of the elections this time and the people will reward the party (read Congress) which ensured that the bill was passed in Parliament.
The TRS says that it has raised its voice for the movement, but did it have the capabilities to pass the bill? It required the Congress to do so. This year the elections in Telangana are only being fought on the sentiment of statehood.
Development will happen and that was the primary reason why the state was granted in the first place. The people have nothing to worry, they will get their due.
On the battle against Kavita:
What she needs to understand is that Telangana was formed for the families of the region and not for the KCR family.
Her only credential is that she is KCR’s daughter. The people do realise that he is trying to impose his family on the people. Including him there are four from his family contesting the elections.
Kavita may raise a lot of issues, but she should also understand that her father, despite being an MP for so many years, was literally mum in Parliament. The people of my constituency know who gave Telangana.
On the failure to enter into an alliance with the TRS:
What can we do, it was his (KCR’s) decision. Let him not think he has struck gold because of this. The trends may have favoured him at first but now the focus is largely shifting towards the Congress.
(Congress president) Sonia Gandhi will come to Telangana and she is considered to be a mother here. Her rallies in Telangana will further enhance the chances of the party.
On the Congress’ overall chances in Andhra Pradesh:
I cannot speak for Seema-Andhra. It is a different battle and my focus is on Telangana. We will form the government in Telangana and bag the major share of the seats in the Lok Sabha segment.
On post poll tie-ups in case of hung assembly:
I am quite sure that we will be able to form the government. The TRS will not get as many seats as they expect they would. We may have to take the support of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen in order to form the government, but that is only in an extreme scenario. Overall I feel we will get the majority of the seats in Telangana.
On who’ll be the first chief minister of Telangana:
It is too early to speak on that issue. The Congress has the tradition of announcing the CM candidate only after the elections. Let us get through this first. The road ahead is very long and with the new state comes a lot of responsibility.
The people can be rest assured that a good candidate will be selected to lead the new state.
On the BJP-TDP tie-up:
I was quite surprised that the BJP entered into an alliance with the TDP. The TDP may have won a lot of seats here in 2009, but this time the situation is different.
There is a complete negative wave against the TDP and this will rub off on the BJP as well. The BJP, which appeared to be strong in a few pockets, will lose out due to this alliance.
Although the BJP supported the Telangana bill in Parliament this tie-up with the TDP has negated whatever it has done for the movement. This alliance is a complete non-starter in Telangana, but I think in the Seema-Andhra region they may gain a bit and give Jaganmohan Reddy of the YSR Congress Party a good fight.
Image: Congress Nizamabad MP Madhu Yaskhi Goud