THE Bahujana Left Front (BLF) held ‘Mahadharnas’ at district collectorates in Telangana on June 26-27, highlighting the problems of the people that had come to light during a one-month-long house-to-house survey conducted by it in all villages in the state, and demanding that the TRS government solve them.
The police not only created hurdles to obstruct participation of the people in the rallies and Mahadharnas, but also imposed prohibitory orders and arrested several leaders and hundreds of people when they tried to lay siege at the collectorates. The state committee of BLF estimated that more than one lakh people participated in the Mahadharnas. Strongly condemning the highhandedness of, and arrests by, the police, it demanded immediate release of the arrested and warned that the struggle would be intensified further, if the government failed to solve the problems of the people. Making it clear that the struggles were conducted with a view to waking up the KCR government from its deep slumber, BLF’s chairman Nalla Surya Prakash and its state convener and secretary of the state committee of the CPI(M), Tammineni Veerabhadram, warned that a siege would be laid to the official residence of the chief minister, if the government continued to fail to solve the problems.
Addressing the Mahadharna held at Medchal collectorate on June 26, Surya Prakash reiterated that the BLF would give 60 to 65 seats in the coming elections to the legislative assembly to backward classes who constituted 52 per cent of the population in Telangana. He also announced that, if the BLF came to power, it would sanction a monthly unemployment allowance of Rs 5,000 each to graduates and Rs 3,000 each to those youth who completed intermediate. Effective measures would be taken for ensuring free education and better medical facilities to the people, he assured. Veerabhadram appealed to the people to teach a fitting lesson to the TRS government in the coming elections by using the weapon of exercising their franchise. He underlined the need for electing candidates of the BLF, which was formed with the objective of social justice and all-round development. He made it clear that the Congress in the state was under the illusion that, if the people were despising the TRS government, the former would come to power. Veerabhadram asked the people not to give credence to the claims of the leaders of the Congress that their party was the alternative to the TRS, pointing out that the Congress had cheated the people when it was in power at the Centre and in the state. G Nagayya, a member of the central committee of the CPI(M), pointed out the failures of the KCR government in solving problems of the people, even while claiming that the state was rich. R Sudha Bhaskar, national vice president of the CITU, explained the utter failure of the government in getting minimum wages implemented for workers and underlined the need for bringing the BLF, which would continue to fight for security and rights of the workers, to power in the coming elections. P Satyanarayana, state president of the Association of Settibalijas, demanded the government re-include Settibalijas in the list of BCs.
Mahadharnas were held at collectorates in other districts on June 27. Addressing the Mahadharna held at the district headquarter of Mahabubabad, Veerabhadram explained the failures of the KCR government in fulfilling the pre-election assurances. He criticised the government for dispossessing the tribals of the lands they have been cultivating over the years as per law and foisting cases and sending them to jail when they resisted the acts of the administration to dispossess them of their lands. He explained the failures of the government in constructing and giving two-bed-room houses to the poor, curbing exploitation of the students by private corporate educational institutions collecting exorbitant fees, etc., and providing adequate facilities, staff and medicines in government hospitals. Veerabhadram questioned as to why Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao was not putting pressure on the Modi government to set up a steel factory at Bayyaram, as incorporated in the A P Reorganisation Act and as assured in Parliament, reminding that agitations have been going on in Andhra Pradesh seeking special status to the state and setting up of steel factory at Kadapa. He lashed out at the KCR government for giving away public money to the landlords under the guise of ‘Rytu Bandhu’ scheme and pointed out the instance of the government paying Rs 35 lakh to a landlord possessing 870 acres of land. He demanded the government announce electoral reservations after categorisation of the BCs. He promised that, if the BLF came to power, it would bring forth an industrial policy for creating employment to the youth locally. Veerabhadram gave a call for unity of the ‘Lal’ and ‘Neel’ flags and coming together of different social classes and the Left parties to fight unitedly against the TRS, reiterating that the BLF would contest all the 119 assembly seats in the state.
Addressing the Mahadharna at Khammam collectorate, Surya Prakash pointed out that there are just 19 MLAs belonging to the BCs in the assembly, while, as a ratio in the population, there should be 65 BC MLAs. He asserted that social justice would be ensured only when representatives of all castes were allocated seats for contesting in the elections and posts of power in proportion to their respective ratios in the population, ensuring their due share of power in the government. He reiterated that a BC would be made chief minister, if BLF was elected to power, and that prohibition would be imposed. Surya Prakash announced that the aim of the BLF was to ensure social welfare on the lines of the LDF government in Kerala.
Leaders, who addressed Mahadharnas at other collectorates, highlighted the commission and omission of the TRS government and explained the problems being faced by the people. They also strongly resented the refusal of the district collectors and joint collectors to come and respond to the demands at Mahadharnas. In several districts, tense situation prevailed when attempts were made to lay siege to the collectorates. CPI(M) MLA Sunnam Rajayya sat on the road, protesting against the refusal of the collector of Bhadradri Kothagudem district to come and receive representation. Central committee member of the CPI(M) Ch Sitaramulu, state secretariat members of the party B Venkat, D G Narasimha Rao, Nandyala Narasimha Reddy and T Jyothy, national vice president of AIKS Sarampally Malla Reddy, several members of the state committee and district committees of the Party, other leaders of BLF and mass organisations participated in the Mahadharnas.
Protesting the police highhandedness in imposing his forced confinement in his house at Miryalaguda in Nalgonda district, state secretariat member of the CPI(M) and former MLA Julakanti Ranga Reddy went on hunger strike for 24 hours. Protesting the police highhandedness, a massive rally was taken out in Miryalaguda on June 28 which culminated in a public meeting at the municipal complex. Addressing the meeting, Surya Prakash warned the KCR government that it cannot stop the movement of the BLF with measures of repression and arrests. Explaining the efforts being made to bring about unity of Bahujans, Veerabhadram revealed that talks are being held with state leaders of the CPI and Telangana Jana Samiti and expressed hope that those parties also would join the BLF shortly. Making it clear that the BLF would not join hands with the Congress, he asserted that it would work with the aim of defeating the TRS in the coming elections. Ranga Reddy and other leaders also addressed the meeting.