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KCR’s party achieved Telangana but lost its way and became a family party: Vishweshwar Reddy

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KCR’s party achieved Telangana but lost its way and became a family party: Vishweshwar Reddy

Hyderabad, April 26 (IANS) Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, one of the richest candidates in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in the country, believes that people should come into politics when they have achieved their personal goals and not to achieve personal goals.

A tech entrepreneur, who is contesting once again from Chevella constituency and this time on a BJP ticket, says he entered politics when he had achieved all his goals.

“I entered politics after I was strong education-wise, exposure-wise, socially, health-wise and financially. I did not enter politics to reach my personal goals. It was after reaching personal goals that I entered politics to help others reach their goals,” said the former MP, who declared family assets of Rs 4,568 crore.

He told IANS in an interview that he strongly believes that the first duty of a person is to be strong and help the family first, then relatives, then his village, and may be later region, state and country.

“I will definitely not recommend politics for those who have not achieved their goals, if they don’t have a job and if they have not achieved their financial goals. Politics is not for achieving their financial goals or their career goals. Unfortunately, a lot of them do that. Some do it to make money and use power unethically and others do it for the charm of it or glamour of it. This is not right for them or the nation,” he said.

The family assets of the 64-year-old grew by a whopping 410 per cent in the last five years to reach Rs.4,568 crore.

KVR, as he is popularly known among his supporters, declared assets to the tune of Rs 1,240 crore while wife Sangeeta Reddy, Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals Groups, owns assets worth Rs 3,208 crore.

Their dependent son has assets worth Rs 108 crore.

KVR, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Madras and pursued his Master’s degree in the US, began his political journey in 2013 with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), now called Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).

Grandson of Konda Ranga Reddy, former Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, KVR made his electoral debut in 2014 on a winning note from Chevella, comprising parts of Ranga Reddy District, named after his grandfather.

In 2018, he quit the TRS to join the Congress and entered the fray once again from Chevella in 2019. He, however, failed to retain the seat and unhappy with the state of affairs in the party, he switched loyalties to the BJP in 2022.

He is testing his electoral fortunes on the ticket of a third party in as many elections.

Unfazed by the criticism that comes his way for being a party-hopper; this technocrat-politician believes that he is continuing his journey.

“My journey is in the same direction. My ideology has not changed. I am for my people and my place. I am where I am,” he told IANS after a day of hectic campaigning in Yalal Village, about 115 km from Hyderabad.

“TRS was seen as the only party fighting for Telangana and I joined it. At that time TRS was non-existent in Ranga Reddy District. I was the first TRS MP and I built the party here. The sad thing is that we achieved Telangana but TRS lost its way and it became a family party. It started looting and got involved in scams. It started betraying people who fought for Telangana, threw them out and took everyone in. Those we thought of as saviours of Telangana became looters and betrayers of Telangana,” he said.

KVR claimed that personally he had a lot of respect in TRS but the party started looting Telangana, especially Chevella and Ranga Reddy District while keeping him in front.

“I joined the Congress as I wanted to fight those who looted Telangana. I was the only MP in this region who left the ruling party to join the people. I felt the Congress will defeat the party which cheated Telangana but it turned out that more than two-thirds of the Congress party got sold out. In Chevella each and every mandal organisation of Congress got sold out. It was not just Chevella but even in the Assembly two-third of the party got sold out. I am where I am. It is the party which got sold out,” he observed.

He believes that the BJP’s ideology fits his thinking. “The BJP’s larger goal or stated philosophy is Hindutva and nationalism but that Hindutva is Hindustan first. This includes states, regions and my region too. I doubt the BJP will betray my region or sell itself like TRS or Congress,” he said while claiming that he is the only politician with courage to say ‘no’ to the ruling party.

KVR, an innovator who headed companies like Wipro Healthcare and GE Medical Information Technology, feels that his journey as a politician has been exciting.

“Lots of people say that politics is dirty. Yes, there is a dirty element to it but there is something else too. It gave a different dimension to my old profession as an innovator and engineer.

“I used to enjoy my profession immensely. When you are presented with technical problems, be it software, mechanical or electrical engineering and you find a solution to it, it gives you money and business but more than that this gives you immense joy. I used to feel thrilled,” he recalled.

“Problems here have different dimensions. Thousands of people are jobless and if you somehow find a solution at least for a few hundred by finding or creating jobs, the joy is at a different level. It requires all your skills to find a solution to that problem.

“Politics can be really satisfying and sometimes it is able to fill the void because what do you do after achieving everything? After filling your belly, keeping your children happy, after buying a car!

“Of course you can have a social life, go to clubs, play cards and do things like that, but that’s routine social life. Politics is something that makes you feel alive. I think that is the purpose of life. You feel you will be able to use your full potential and politics allows you to do that,” he said.

As a former MP, KVR recounted the work he could do to help his constituents. Confident of a win this time, he believes that he can do much more as a BJP MP.

“My ideals, my goals and my narrative have not changed. BJP is truly focussed on bringing development down to the marginalised. I was independent for two years and I studied the BJP’s philosophy and methodology for reaching out to the poor through the Antyodaya scheme, which is helping the people at the bottom of the pyramid,” he said.

KVR mentioned that in the past the maximum bank loans were being given to the upper segment, and with kickbacks and all that, they never reached the bottom segment.

He believes that bank loan access to the bottom segment has gone up 7 to 8 fold in the last 10 years.

“The numbers show that. See Mudra loans or various other loans. Look at banks. All banks were bankrupt when Modi took over. Today SBI’s profits are greater than Reliance Industry’s profits. These are miracles that happen only because somebody is focussed and has a core philosophy,” he said.

When asked about what he plans to do for the constituency, he said he would continue to work on solutions for tomato farmers, who suffer huge losses due to price fluctuation every year.

He also plans to promote millets considering the growing global popularity of millets fuelled by PM Modi’s mission.

“While in BJP I can do much more, whether in terms of roads, road over bridges, road under bridges, increasing MSP for millets, forcing the state government to give bonus for areas where we don’t have irrigation projects,” he said.

KVR plans to complete work on the Hyderabad Bijapur Highway via Moinabad, Chevella, Manneguda and Pargi.

KVR wants to improve connectivity to Vikarabad through MMTS trains. As the MP in the past, he had got in principle approval for the project.

He believes basic civic and social infrastructure makes a city great. KVR’s priority will be to set up community schools as they will lessen the burden on the middle class, upper middle class and even rich families spending a huge fee on education of their children.

He pointed out that 95 per cent of American children study in community schools which are quasi government and quasi community institutions.

KVR is facing the Congress’ G Ranjith Reddy and BRS candidate Kasani Gyaneshwar in a three-cornered contest in Chevella.

In 2019, KVR lost to Ranjith Reddy of BRS by a margin of 14,317 votes. Peeved over being denied a ticket, Ranjith Reddy recently joined the Congress party.

KVR is not worried that the BJP holds no Assembly segment in the parliamentary constituency.

He recalled that when he won as MP for the first time there was no TRS MLA. He is confident that the BJP will increase its vote share by 300 per cent this time.

KVR claimed that the BJP has become strongest in rural areas where it was supposed to be weak, while it remained strong in urban areas.

KVR said he would push for a theatre district. Stating that human resources are the new resource around which a city grows, he said Hyderabad deserves a place for different performing arts, with clean street food and restaurants.

Chevella is a unique constituency spread over both urban and rural pockets. The information technology clusters like Madhapur, Kondapur, Gachibowli, Financial District and the areas known for booming real estate business on the city fringes and the rural segments like Tandur, Vikarabad, Pargi and Chevella all come under this constituency.

The constituency is also diverse in terms of the electorate, belonging to different religions, castes and even different states.

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