A sense of excitement echoed through the dusty streets of Gajwel. Kolattam practice sessions on one side, sound check for drums on the other, long orange and green pieces of clothes laid out, mini flags and T shirts – everything was ready. A woman with a hearty smile, clad in a bright green saree, gets off her car and is immediately surrounded by a mob. Laughing, hugging the old woman, pinching the cheeks of the baby, patting the back of the local leader, speaking in Telugu-Hindi-English, she makes her entry.
MLA Padmavathi was a clear favourite in the town.
Nalamada Padmavathi Reddy was the first woman contestant from Kodad Assembly constituency. In 2014, she was elected as MLA for the first time on a Congress ticket.
Being a graduate in architecture, Reddy has a vision of building state-of-the-art homes and institutions for her constituency. She is married to Uttam Kumar Reddy, who is currently the president of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee.
So we caught up with MLA Padmavathi and talked politics, policies, women and winning elections.
What is your agenda for Telangana elections 2018?
Our agenda is to defeat the TRS government and place the Congress there. That’s all.
Though the TRS government boasts of introducing several welfare schemes, one of the major drawbacks we have seen is the lack of women in the Cabinet.
It is not just a lack of women. It is complete disrespect to more than 50 percent of population in Telangana. Not one post is allotted to us women. Though we made a hue and cry about it in the Assembly, our demands were not considered.
The TRS government boasts of introducing a lot of welfare schemes for the people but
the Congress has blamed them for failing the people. On what grounds?
Welfare schemes have been undertaken but on a temporary basis. They have given clothes and food on Ramzan or Christmas or Dussehra. In terms of pensions that were given earlier, if there were two elders in the family, they have cut it down and given it to one person only. Many such things have been done in a half-baked way. In terms of implementation, there is nothing. They have tweaked the rules so that not everyone is the beneficiary.
Now with Uttam Kumar Reddy playing such an important role in the elections, are we talking to someone who is very close to the chief minister?
I hope so. I don’t know. Let us see. Our responsibility now is to make sure the Congress comes back to power in Telangana. Who becomes the CM is entirely upon the elected legislators and the high command.
Your word to the people of Telangana?
We would like to give the future of our country proper governance according to the Constitution of India. Kindly give the Congress party the mandate.
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