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KCR's party achieved Telangana but lost its way and became a family party: Vishweshwar Reddy (IANS Interview)

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Hyderabad, April 26 (IANS) Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, one of the richest candidates in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in the country, believes that people should come into politics when they have achieved their personal goals and not to achieve personal goals.

A tech entrepreneur, who is contesting once again from Chevella constituency and this time on a BJP ticket, says he entered politics when he had achieved all his goals.

“I entered politics after I was strong education-wise, exposure-wise, socially, health-wise and financially. I did not enter politics to reach my personal goals. It was after reaching personal goals that I entered politics to help others reach their goals,” said the former MP, who declared family assets of Rs 4,568 crore.

He told IANS in an interview that he strongly believes that the first duty of a person is to be strong and help the family first, then relatives, then his village, and may be later region, state and country.

“I will definitely not recommend politics for those who have not achieved their goals, if they don’t have a job and if they have not achieved their financial goals. Politics is not for achieving their financial goals or their career goals. Unfortunately, a lot of them do that. Some do it to make money and use power unethically and others do it for the charm of it or glamour of it. This is not right for them or the nation,” he said.

The family assets of the 64-year-old grew by a whopping 410 per cent in the last five years to reach Rs.4,568 crore.

KVR, as he is popularly known among his supporters, declared assets to the tune of Rs 1,240 crore while wife Sangeeta Reddy, Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals Groups, owns assets worth Rs 3,208 crore.

Their dependent son has assets worth Rs 108 crore.

KVR, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Madras and pursued his Master’s degree in the US, began his political journey in 2013 with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), now called Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).

Grandson of Konda Ranga Reddy, former Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, KVR made his electoral debut in 2014 on a winning note from Chevella, comprising parts of Ranga Reddy District, named after his grandfather.

In 2018, he quit the TRS to join the Congress and entered the fray once again from Chevella in 2019. He, however, failed to retain the seat and unhappy with the state of affairs in the party, he switched loyalties to the BJP in 2022.

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He is testing his electoral fortunes on the ticket of a third party in as many elections.

Unfazed by the criticism that comes his way for being a party-hopper; this technocrat-politician believes that he is continuing his journey.

“My journey is in the same direction. My ideology has not changed. I am for my people and my place. I am where I am,” he told IANS after a day of hectic campaigning in Yalal Village, about 115 km from Hyderabad.

“TRS was seen as the only party fighting for Telangana and I joined it. At that time TRS was non-existent in Ranga Reddy District. I was the first TRS MP and I built the party here. The sad thing is that we achieved Telangana but TRS lost its way and it became a family party. It started looting and got involved in scams. It started betraying people who fought for Telangana, threw them out and took everyone in. Those we thought of as saviours of Telangana became looters and betrayers of Telangana,” he said.

KVR claimed that personally he had a lot of respect in TRS but the party started looting Telangana, especially Chevella and Ranga Reddy District while keeping him in front.

“I joined the Congress as I wanted to fight those who looted Telangana. I was the only MP in this region who left the ruling party to join the people. I felt the Congress will defeat the party which cheated Telangana but it turned out that more than two-thirds of the Congress party got sold out. In Chevella each and every mandal organisation of Congress got sold out. It was not just Chevella but even in the Assembly two-third of the party got sold out. I am where I am. It is the party which got sold out,” he observed.

He believes that the BJP’s ideology fits his thinking. “The BJP’s larger goal or stated philosophy is Hindutva and nationalism but that Hindutva is Hindustan first. This includes states, regions and my region too. I doubt the BJP will betray my region or sell itself like TRS or Congress,” he said while claiming that he is the only politician with courage to say ‘no’ to the ruling party.

KVR, an innovator who headed companies like Wipro Healthcare and GE Medical Information Technology, feels that his journey as a politician has been exciting.

“Lots of people say that politics is dirty. Yes, there is a dirty element to it but there is something else too. It gave a different dimension to my old profession as an innovator and engineer.

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“I used to enjoy my profession immensely. When you are presented with technical problems, be it software, mechanical or electrical engineering and you find a solution to it, it gives you money and business but more than that this gives you immense joy. I used to feel thrilled,” he recalled.

“Problems here have different dimensions. Thousands of people are jobless and if you somehow find a solution at least for a few hundred by finding or creating jobs, the joy is at a different level. It requires all your skills to find a solution to that problem.

“Politics can be really satisfying and sometimes it is able to fill the void because what do you do after achieving everything? After filling your belly, keeping your children happy, after buying a car!

“Of course you can have a social life, go to clubs, play cards and do things like that, but that’s routine social life. Politics is something that makes you feel alive. I think that is the purpose of life. You feel you will be able to use your full potential and politics allows you to do that,” he said.

As a former MP, KVR recounted the work he could do to help his constituents. Confident of a win this time, he believes that he can do much more as a BJP MP.

“My ideals, my goals and my narrative have not changed. BJP is truly focussed on bringing development down to the marginalised. I was independent for two years and I studied the BJP’s philosophy and methodology for reaching out to the poor through the Antyodaya scheme, which is helping the people at the bottom of the pyramid,” he said.

KVR mentioned that in the past the maximum bank loans were being given to the upper segment, and with kickbacks and all that, they never reached the bottom segment.

He believes that bank loan access to the bottom segment has gone up 7 to 8 fold in the last 10 years.

“The numbers show that. See Mudra loans or various other loans. Look at banks. All banks were bankrupt when Modi took over. Today SBI’s profits are greater than Reliance Industry’s profits. These are miracles that happen only because somebody is focussed and has a core philosophy,” he said.

When asked about what he plans to do for the constituency, he said he would continue to work on solutions for tomato farmers, who suffer huge losses due to price fluctuation every year.

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He also plans to promote millets considering the growing global popularity of millets fuelled by PM Modi’s mission.

“While in BJP I can do much more, whether in terms of roads, road over bridges, road under bridges, increasing MSP for millets, forcing the state government to give bonus for areas where we don’t have irrigation projects,” he said.

KVR plans to complete work on the Hyderabad Bijapur Highway via Moinabad, Chevella, Manneguda and Pargi.

KVR wants to improve connectivity to Vikarabad through MMTS trains. As the MP in the past, he had got in principle approval for the project.

He believes basic civic and social infrastructure makes a city great. KVR’s priority will be to set up community schools as they will lessen the burden on the middle class, upper middle class and even rich families spending a huge fee on education of their children.

He pointed out that 95 per cent of American children study in community schools which are quasi government and quasi community institutions.

KVR is facing the Congress’ G Ranjith Reddy and BRS candidate Kasani Gyaneshwar in a three-cornered contest in Chevella.

In 2019, KVR lost to Ranjith Reddy of BRS by a margin of 14,317 votes. Peeved over being denied a ticket, Ranjith Reddy recently joined the Congress party.

KVR is not worried that the BJP holds no Assembly segment in the parliamentary constituency.

He recalled that when he won as MP for the first time there was no TRS MLA. He is confident that the BJP will increase its vote share by 300 per cent this time.

KVR claimed that the BJP has become strongest in rural areas where it was supposed to be weak, while it remained strong in urban areas.

KVR said he would push for a theatre district. Stating that human resources are the new resource around which a city grows, he said Hyderabad deserves a place for different performing arts, with clean street food and restaurants.

Chevella is a unique constituency spread over both urban and rural pockets. The information technology clusters like Madhapur, Kondapur, Gachibowli, Financial District and the areas known for booming real estate business on the city fringes and the rural segments like Tandur, Vikarabad, Pargi and Chevella all come under this constituency.

The constituency is also diverse in terms of the electorate, belonging to different religions, castes and even different states.

–IANS

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Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple priest backs PM Modi's divine assertion

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 26 (IANS) As Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion that he’s not merely a biological entity but divinely sent stirs a significant public discourse, the priest of the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple has now voiced support for the PM’s statement.

Going even further, Pushpanjali Swami Parameswara Brahmananda suggested that PM Modi existed contemporaneously with Lord Krishna and played a role in governance during that era.

Swami Parameswara Brahmananda is the highest spiritual authority of Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple.

Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple is among the richest Hindu temple in the world with assets worth Rs 1,20,000 crore.

Pushpanjali Swami Parameswara Brahmananda’s fresh remarks came while responding to PM Modi’s recent statement that he was convinced that God had sent him and that the energy he had was bestowed upon him by God.

“PM Modi is a contemporary of Lord Krishna. This is his new birth to complete the unfinished work in his previous birth,” Swami Parameswara Brahmanada told IANS.

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He also said that India would emerge as a superpower and there was nothing wrong with the statement of the Prime Minister.

Swami Parameswara Brahmananda in an article in a historical book on the Pournamikkavu temple here mentioned that PM Modi was a contemporary of Lord Krishna.

–IANS

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BRS, BJP running false propaganda on paddy procurement: Telangana minister

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Hyderabad, May 26 (IANS) Telangana Minister for Civil Supplies Uttam Kumar Reddy on Sunday alleged that BRS and BJP are running false propaganda against the government on the issue of paddy procurement from farmers.

He said the opposition parties are spreading lies and misinformation against the Congress government.

Addressing a press conference, he claimed that there is no truth in the corruption allegations and criticism by the opposition parties.

He said that the Congress will not remain silent over irresponsible allegations against the government.

The Congress leader said BRS working president K. T. Rama Rao and BJP floor leader in Assembly Maheshwar Reddy speak whatever they want

Reacting strongly to Rama Rao’s allegations, the minister said levelling baseless allegations against an honest person like him is highly improper.

Earlier, the BRS leader had claimed Rs.1,000 crore scam in procurement of paddy and fine variety rice by the government.

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Uttam Kumar Reddy clarified that the government has not procured even one grain of fine-variety rice. If somebody is ready to sell fine rice at Rs 42 per kg, the government will immediately procure it, he said on Rama Rao’s allegations.

If the conditions laid down in the tenders are accepted, the government will procure any quantity of paddy, he added.

He alleged that BRS and BJP are speaking on behalf of defaulter ricer millers.

He said on one hand the opposition parties are criticising the government for not taking action against ricer millers, while on the other they are saying that millers are being put to difficulties.

Slamming BJP leader Maheshwar Reddy, Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that he bought the floor leader’s post by sending money to Delhi.

He said that Maheshwar Reddy is trying to overtake Kishan Reddy. He wants to move ahead in the party.

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Under the BRS government, the fine variety of paddy was fetched at Rs1,700 per quintal but now farmers are getting Rs 2,400. He claimed that after Congress came to power, farmers earned an additional income of Rs 1,100 crore.

Stating that not even one rupee was spent on fine variety rice, Uttam Kumar Reddy said a tender was called for procurement of fine rice but was later cancelled.

He said the previous government had pushed the Civil Supplies Department into Rs 58,000 crore debts. Under the BRS rule, the Civil Supplies Corporation had raised the debts of Rs 11,000 crore

Uttam Kumar Reddy claimed that compared to the previous government, the Congress government started paddy procurement early.

“The government took a revolutionary step to procure wet paddy at MSP. Ours is the only government which procured paddy soaked in unseasonal rains,” he said.

–IANS

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Bring change in country by electing Cong-INDIA govt, says Priyanka Gandhi in Chandigarh

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Chandigarh, May 26 (IANS) Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday appealed to the electorates in Chandigarh to bring change in the country and also in their lives by electing the Congress-INDIA government.

Addressing a public rally in support of INDIA bloc candidate Manish Tewari here, Priyanka Gandhi, countered the BJP’s charges that the Congress is anti-Hindu, saying the philosophy of the Congress is based on the teachings of the Bhagwadgita which teaches truth, love, harmony and non-violence.

She pointed out how Prime Minister Narendra Modi has only exploited the religious sentiments of people coupled with fake promises like depositing Rs 15 lakh in every Indian’s bank account, or providing two crore jobs every year and doubling the income of farmers.

Alleging that PM Modi has lowered the dignity of the office of the Prime Minister, she said no Prime Minister, irrespective of which party he or she belonged to, had talked the way PM Modi is talking.

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She said, despite being in Opposition, leaders like her felt ashamed of what PM Modi is saying. “After all he is everybody’s Prime Minister,” she told a large crowd.

The Congress General Secretary said PM Modi always avoids talking about the pressing issues like unemployment, inflation and farmers’ plight.

She pointed out that unemployment is at its highest in the last 45 years with 70 crore jobless people in the country.

She referred to various guarantees of the Congress. She said every poor family would receive Rs 8,500 every month. She also announced that every fresh graduate will get a one-year apprenticeship with an assured income of Rs 1 lakh for that period.

–IANS

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Agnipath scheme guarantees 100 per cent employment, says Anurag Thakur

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Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh), May 26 (IANS) Targeting Congress for “misleading” the country’s youth by spreading false propaganda on the Agnipath scheme, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Youth and Sports Anurag Thakur said on Sunday that the game-changing initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government guarantees 100 per cent employment.

“Every Congress leader is misleading the youth by lying about the scheme which guarantees 100 per cent employment,” Anurag Thakur said while campaigning in Hamirpur constituency which goes to polls on June 1.

Asserting that the scheme gives India’s youth an opportunity to serve the country by joining the Armed Forces, Thakur mentioned that it is a win-win situation for all as youngsters exiting after four years will not only get a service fund package but also jobs in various Public Sector Undertakings.

“All BJP-ruled state governments have provided 10-20 per cent reservation in the state police for these young comrades. Reservations has also been made in the Central government’s paramilitary forces. Not only that, they have been given many concessions in selection. Congress should stop misleading the youth and should not play with their future,” the Union Minister said.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has claimed that the Agnipath scheme has been brought against the will of armed forces and if the INDIA bloc is voted to power, the party will discard it immediately.

“Rahul Gandhi will go to Italy or Bangkok but the Agniveers will continue to serve the country. It is PM Modi who named islands after 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees, cleared One Rank-One Pension scheme, gave the latest arms and ammunition to our forces, got Rafale fighters, built INS Vikrant and Brahmos missiles… What did the Congress do for 40 years except for encouraging corruption and getting kickbacks in defence deals?” the BJP leader questioned.

–IANS

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Priyanka, I will raise voice of Himachal in Delhi, says Rahul Gandhi

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Nahan (Himachal Pradesh), May 26 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday appealed to the people of Himachal Pradesh to vote for the victory of all four Congress Lok Sabha candidates, while promising them that he and his sister and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi will “be the voice” of the hill state in the national capital.

“Priyanka and I are your soldiers in Delhi, and we will raise the voice of Himachal Pradesh in the capital,” he said at a public meeting in Sirmaur district for the party’s Shimla Lok Sabha seat candidate.

Gandhi criticised Prime Minister Narender Modi for failing to provide aid to Himachal Pradesh following the last monsoon season’s disaster, which affected over 22,000 families. He said the Union government has yet to release Rs 9,000 crore relief funds to the state.

Additionally, he accused PM Modi of colluding with big business, resulting in unfair prices for apple growers in Himachal. Gandhi charged the Prime Minister with “serving the interests of 20-25 wealthy individuals of the country” and “focused on making 22 people in the country millionaires”, alleging that Rs 16 lakh crore in loans for these individuals has been waived off over the past decade.

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Gandhi criticised the media for ignoring issues like apple prices, and problems of farmers and labourers. He said the BJP government has devastated millions of small businesses through demonetisation and the mismanagement of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation. “Dreams of a select few are being fulfilled while the rest of the country looks on,” he said.

Congress state in-charge Rajiv Shukla, state party unit President Pratibha Singh, Congress candidate from Shimla Vinod Sultanpuri, Industries Minister Harshvardhan Chauhan, MLA Ajay Solanki and party officials and workers were present.

–IANS

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