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The Rediff Interview/

'Congress has cheated the people of Telangana'

April 07, 2009

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Telugu actress Vijayshanti has had a rollercoaster ride in politics. She first joined the Bharatiya Janata Party [Images], then launched her own party and eventually merged it with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti.

Popularly known as the angry young lady of Telugu films, Vijayshanti is contesting the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls from Medak constituency in Telangana region, as a TRS candidate. 
The 'Lady Amitabh' [Images] of the Telugu film industry is braving the scorching summer heat and campaigning in the most drought prone parts of Telangana.

She tells's Mohammed Siddique that her mission is to defeat the Congress 'for the sake of the 'Telangana dream'.
You are in the thick of the campaign now. What is your assessment of the situation?

It is very positive. I am getting a good response from the people, specially from the youth and the women. I have the full support of the leaders and cadres of the other partners of the Grand Alliance -- the Telugu Desam Party and the Left Front. I am confident that I am definitely going to win.
What are the issues that you are raising in your campaign?

The main and the biggest issue is the formation of Telangana state, for which the people of this region have been fighting for the last 50 years. We want Telangana for the sake of justice. We want to get our due share in water and other resources of this region.

We want to protect our people from exploitation and cheating by others. We hope to win a large number of Lok Sabha seats and then pressurise the central government on the Telangana issue. But we are ready to fight with whoever comes to power in Delhi [Images].
But you had launched your own party...

Yes, I launched the Talli Telangana Party in 2005 and fought on several issues like justice to women, safe drinking water in the Fluoride affected parts of the state, social and cultural issues. But people asked me why there were two parties in Telangana. They wanted us to come together to fight for Telangana forcefully and I agreed to merge my party with the TRS.
What are your hopes from this election?

We will defeat the Congress party. The Congress has only cheated the people of Telangana for the last five years. I ask the people whether they got even a drop of more water for drinking or irrigation. The Congress won in 2004 just because they had an alliance with the TRS. They fooled us by using our party's pink khandva (shoulder cloth).
A large number of film stars have joined the political bandwagon.
I don't want to comment on other film stars. My case is different because I have been fighting on political issues for the last 11 years. The other stars are just campaigning and I don't want to be compared with the other people.

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