Amid Lack of Basic Facilities, Indira Gandhi's Winning Seat Medak Struggles to Remain Afloat

CNN-News18
Once the largest sugar factory in Asia, the Nizam Sugars Limited employed several thousands in the region. But its closure in 2014 affected employment.

Hyderabad: The Medak parliamentary constituency in Telangana has its own identity in Indian politics. In 1980, All India Congress Committee President Indira Gandhi won the seat and became the Prime Minister. Baga Reddy, another Congress leader, was the Medak MP for four consecutive terms.

But Medak bears no resemblance to it grand history. Far from development, it does not have good educational institutions, industries, irrigation facilities or roadways. The district does not even have a proper medical facility.

“Go around the villages of our district and you will see the real picture,” Satya Narayana, a government employee who retired recently, told News18. “The road you took from Hyderabad was only recently developed.”

The road connecting Hyderabad to Chegunta village was widened only four years ago, when Telangana was formed. Residents claim the road from Hyderabad to Medak, via Narsapur, is being developed as a national highway.

Sanjeev Kumar from Medak town says he was forced to take his grandmother to a hospital in Hyderabad. “We don’t have proper medical facilities. There is a government hospital, but it does not fulfil our needs,” he said.

Medak, situated 112 km from state capital Hyderabad, is one of the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Telangana. It is home to one of the largest churches in India as well as the famous Edupayala Vana Durga Bhavani temple. While the district has a lot of scope for tourism, nothing is done about it, claims senior journalist BVK Raju.

“We have resources. But there is no will on the part of Medak’s leaders,” he said. “They represent our place, but have not worked to develop it.”

Once the largest sugar factory in Asia, the Nizam Sugars Limited employed several thousands in the region. But its closure in 2014 affected employment. The state government’s promise of reopening the factory remains unfulfilled.

The Singur dam on Manjeera river is the only permanent irrigation facility in the region. But it is not enough to provide water for thousands of residents, they say.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi government in the state had announced the prestigious Kaleshwaram Project as a panacea for the irrigation problems facing Medak and Nizamabad. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s TRS had won six of the seven assembly segments in Medak parliamentary constituency, with the Congress winning one the last time around. But people are unhappy with the administration.

“We have not seen a district so far removed from development. While we voted for the TRS, development has not been up to people’s expectations,” a fruit vendor near the Medak bus stand told News18.

Sitting MP Kotha Prabhakar Reddy will square off against the Congress’s Gali Anil Kumar in the upcoming elections. In 2014, KCR had won from Medak parliamentary constituency as well as from Gujwel Assembly seat. He resigned as MP after taking over as chief minister. Reddy won the ensuing bye-election with a huge majority.

“We will definitely win in the upcoming elections with the help of our party leaders. I tried my best to develop Medak,” said Reddy. “Our party is going to play a key role in national politics. We will get good funds.”

Meanwhile, Congress candidate Gali Anil Kumar said the elections would be fought between Rahul Gandhi and PM Narendra Modi. “There is no compulsion to vote for the TRS again,” he said. “We will win.”