Congress Doesn’t Project Rahul Gandhi as PM Pick Since It Knows It Will Lose Votes: BJP’s Chevella Lok Sabha Candidate to News18 – News18

Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from the Chevella Lok Sabha constituency in Telangana, is a man who wears many hats. He was a software entrepreneur in the United States who joined politics in 2013 after the former chief minister of Telangana, K Chandrashekar Rao, invited him to join the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (then Telangana Rashtra Samithi). He is one of the richest politicians in the state and is married to Sangita Reddy, MD of Apollo Hospitals.

In a conversation with News18, he speaks about the issues in his constituency, the Modi wave, and how the BJP is not a religion-based party.

Revanth Reddy said that the BJP’s manifesto is a post-dated cheque drawn on a failing bank. What do you make of that statement?

The CM of a bankrupt state making this statement is quite surprising. Did he not know that the state has crossed all FRBM limits? Did he not go to Delhi with a begging bowl? Did he not ask for a Rs 9,000 crore loan over the existing limits? BJP’s manifesto has a vision about where India should be in 2027. It has a direction and a plan. The Congress makes its manifestos just to win elections. They try to bribe voters by giving out freebies. We can all see that they have failed to deliver the six guarantees they promised for Telangana.

The Congress is saying that there is an ‘understanding’ between the BJP and BRS in five seats where the BRS cadre is helping the BJP. Is there any such contract?

The greatest help I have been receiving at Chevella is from the Congress because their cadre is supporting me. The Congress candidate (G Ranjith Reddy) is a former BRS leader who was harassing people by colluding with the police and revenue officials. So they are now helping me to get rid of him. Also, they tried this trope of BJP-BRS secret deal in the assembly elections too just because K Kavitha was not arrested in the Delhi liquor policy scam case. Things are different now with her being in custody. The Congress spinning the same narrative repeatedly shows its desperation.

The Congress does not have a candidate to present in the Lok Sabha elections. Why are they not projecting Rahul Gandhi as the PM candidate like we do for Modi? Because they know that they will lose all votes if they do so. That is why they resort to these two strategies: promising unviable freebies and slinging mud on the opposition.

BRS leader K Kavitha said that she is being held in ‘BJP custody’ and not ‘CBI custody’. Do you agree when they say the BJP is playing vendetta politics?

If BJP had the power to hold her in BJP custody, then we would have formed the government by now. These are baseless charges. Denial does not help. BRS is still suffering from a power hangover.

BRS has been saying that Revanth Reddy will soon join the BJP because he is an RSS man. Is there any such possibility?

Anything is possible in politics. Revanth Reddy was once close to us. He was in the RSS. But today, holding power is his priority. If he needs support for that, anything can happen. When he went to Modi, he received the gift of Rs 9,000-crore loan when the government was in dire straits. If this was not given, there would have been no money to pay government employees.

He calls Modi ‘Pedda Anna’ (Big Brother). With his big heart, Modi helped out Revanth Reddy, but he did not do it for him. The PM did it for the people of Telangana. You never know in politics. Revanth maintains cordial relations with Modi. It’s just the opposite of what KCR used to do.

BRS always had a strong base in Chevella. What is the BJP doing now to improve its chances of winning?

The reason for a strong base there is me. When I started out in the party, BRS had no MPCs, ZPCs there. I can win there because I am the man of the land. I have the Telangana sentiment behind me. Also, there is a Modi wave now. Everything that has come to the villages, whether it’s Rs 1 kilo rice, cheaper urea bag, MSP, etc, has come from the central government. My constituency is 55 per cent urban and 45 per cent rural, but the voting percentage is higher in rural areas. I have a strong presence in the rural areas and BJP is strong in the urban areas. Therefore, our victory is certain there. We are way ahead of others in campaigning too. We started three months ago.

What are the main issues in your constituency?

Irrigation water and crop loss are the main issues in rural areas. Rangareddy district has the highest elevation in Telangana. You cannot bring water here to cover more than 70 per cent of crops. Technically you can, but it costs you Rs 2 lakh per acre per crop. Instead of trying to bring water through Kaleshwaram or Palamuru-Rangareddy lift irrigation schemes, you give these farmers Rs 30,000 farming assistance per acre. The present Rythu Bandhu amount is not sufficient for them.

In 20 to 30 per cent of the land, water can be brought from Krishna river, but not in a circuitous way. It doesn’t make sense to bring water here through pipelines that run across the state. It becomes the project’s tail-end area and these areas hardly get water. We will oppose the unviable Palamuru-Rangareddy lift irrigation project. It was made in a circuitous way so that a Rs 40,000-crore project can turn into a Rs 1,40,000-crore project.

We will promote dryland agriculture. Millets have been a staple food here. People from Telangana love their jonna roti, bajra roti. But in the last 40 years, we have become rice eaters, which has put a strain on water resources. I want to change that. Modiji has been promoting millets. After the promotion, the prices of millets have shot up.

The condition of roads is pathetic in RR district. With BJP at the Centre and me here, we can work together seamlessly to improve the infrastructure. The civic infrastructure is in shambles too. The present government is spending crores on developing the Musi riverfront. It doesn’t make sense as Musi has become a reservoir for sewage. This has happened because of the many lakes that dump effluents in Musi. More than half of the STPs don’t work. We have to first make sure that all the existing ones are working at their full capacity. A portion of the property tax collected by the GHMC should be given to housing societies so that they can maintain STPs in their communities. Hyderabad has a few of the worst schools in the country which charge exorbitant fees. We will encourage community schools like those in the US which will provide quality and affordable schooling.

Was your phone being tapped by the previous BRS government?

Yes, both the BRS and Congress governments are tapping phones. Once there was a family wedding and my lawyer had gone to buy some jewellery. They tapped his phone, made up a narrative, and filed a case against me. In this strange case that has been going on for the last five years, the petitioners themselves have not been appearing. Similarly, they tapped our phones during the pandemic to keep a tab on our whereabouts.

How many seats will BJP win?

I am expecting more than 10 seats. Also, I will not be surprised if Hyderabad candidate Madhavi Latha defeats AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi. It will debunk the allegation that the BJP is a religion-based party. It’s not a Hindu party, but a Hindutva and Hindustani party focused on nationalism (Telugu jatiyavad). This will show that even Muslims are voting for the BJP like they did in UP.