Hyderabad: Prof K. Nageshwar’s has plunged into electoral politics, after a gap of six years. In the process, he has transformed the upcoming MLC elections for the Hyderabad, Rangareddy and Mahabubnagar graduates constituency intense and fascinating.
Nageshwar Rao, who won twice before as an independent from the same seat in 2007 and 2009, did not contest 2015 elections.
Contesting again, as an independent this time, he exudes confidence of completing a hat-trick of victories. In an exclusive interview to Deccan Chronicle, the professor spoke about various issues, why graduates should vote for him and why his re-entry into Telangana Legislative Council is a necessity to safeguard the interests of students, youth and employees.
Q: Three major political parties, the TRS, Congress and BJP are fighting this election in a ‘do or die’ battle. What chances do you stand in this tough contest as an independent candidate?
A: Tough battles are not new for me. I defeated all these parties twice in 2007 and 2009 as an independent. This is history. I did not contest in 2015 due to personal reasons. One should remember that the BJP could win in 2015 only after I opted out.
I am confident of repeating history by trouncing all these parties and achieve a hat-trick of victories with the support of students, youth, unemployed, employees of state and central governments, besides outsourcing and contract employees of state government. I am associated with them for a long time. I have emotional and personal contact with them and have fought for their rights for past two decades.
Over 2,000 supporters from all these sections accompanied me voluntarily in a rally when I filed my nomination on Saturday. This itself is a big achievement for an independent candidate.
Q: You were accused of going soft on TRS. There were reports that you sought support of TRS from outside for this election?
A: This is malicious propaganda by my political rivals, especially the BJP. They alleged that the TRS will not contest this election and will support me from outside, that I had met Chief Minister KCR at his farmhouse and sought support. Some even stooped to the extent that I will join TRS after I win this election.
I never sought support from KCR, who has now announced former prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao’s daughter as the official TRS candidate. This is a slap on the faces of those who indulged in false propaganda against me. Those people owe an answer to people.
Students, youth and employees are very angry with TRS as it has failed to give jobs and a new PRC as promised. Only a fool will seek TRS support in present circumstances. I am the one who is attacking the TRS government on its failures on jobs and PRC. My political rivals conspired to attract graduate voters, who are angry at TRS, by projecting me as TRS nominee.
Q: You already entered the Legislative Council twice? What did you achieve then and what you will achieve now, if elected?
A: The Telangana Legislative Council has become a sort of ‘bhajan batch’ now. There is no one who can raise people's issues or question or put pressure on the state government on its failures. What we hear in Council today is just praising CM KCR and his government all the time.
Out of a total of 40 MLCs in the Council, barring a two or three, rest all are TRS, or its friendly party AIMIM. Even those two or three are sitting quiet. I want to become the voice of people in the Council.
In my earlier stints in Council, I used to raise and debate issues pertaining to the education sector, students, youth, unemployed, employees. I will fight with TRS for jobs and PRC in the Council, and if they fail to resolve it, I will hit the streets with students and employees to wage a war against the KCR government.
Q: What makes you confident of winning this election?
A: Over 50 organisations belonging to students, contract/ outsourcing employees, banking sector, life insurance sector, central government undertakings in Hyderabad, pensioners of state and central governments etc., have already declared their unconditional support for me. Out of 5 lakh voters in this election, more than half comprise of these voters. I am confident of winning this election hands down.