Devoid of any blitz or even buzz related to political campaigning which is generally associated with any major election, this reserved Lok Sabha constituency — Nagarkurnool — presents a picture of disinterest among the electorate this time although only a couple of days are left for electioneering.
In an effort to sense general mood of the electorate by interacting with them with the help of an extensive visit to the Parliamentary constituency by The Hindu, it was found that the feelings of voters who were touched upon resembled like “Ugadi Pachhadi” — a mix of sweet, sour, bitter, salty and spicy tastes — towards both the ruling party as also the Opposition.
Giving credit to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) for providing uninterrupted, 24×7, free power supply to agriculture, investment support for cultivation under Rythu Bandhu and welfare measures such as social security pensions and Rythu Bima, its critics were however vocal on problems of drinking water, lack of employment opportunities, irrigation facility, non-receipt of Rythu Bandhu benefit for the Yasangi season, among others.
In the elections to State Assembly held barely four months back, the TRS had won six out of seven seats which form part of the Nagarkurnool Parliamentary Constituency (PC).
Practically, the ruling party has all the seven legislators belong to it now following the switching of loyalties by B. Harshavardhan Reddy of Kollapur Assembly segment, who won the election on Congress ticket defeating former minister Jupally Krishna Rao, to the TRS.
In spite such a backdrop, there’s not much favour being expressed for the ruling party now as put it by Ramulu, a farmer of Gummakonda village: “We voted for KCR (Chief Minister and TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao) last time for giving us 24×7 free power to agriculture and Rythu Bandhu benefit. But, we are yet to make up our mind this time.”
Farmers such as Gopal Reddy of Vattem have attributed green paddy fields visible in patches across the Nagarkurnool constituency to filling of minor irrigation tanks through Kalwakurthy Lift Irrigation Scheme and other irrigation systems and 24×7 power.
However, many of the voters, including Mr. Reddy, were not happy with the performance of the government as their educated children were unable to get jobs.
Venting his anger for not getting either Rythu Bandhu benefit for Yasangi or the Centre’s PM-KISAN so far, Baddu Naik, a farmer from a thanda near Vattem, said: “We are not getting even Mission Bhagiratha water as the pipelines laid are yet to be linked to main supply line. There’s hardly anybody who cares for us now.”
Except for a few villages here and there even the general complaint even in the habitations that are being supplied water under Mission Bhagiratha is that the supply is not sufficient — not even 100 litres per day per person as promises by the government.
At many places, residents said they had actually got higher quantity of water in the past with previous water supply system.