Chindepalli, Chittoor district: This morning as I set out on my Padayatra, in the village, Modugupalem, I met Vaanamma, an old woman, who pleaded with me—“please see that the wine shop in our village is shut down. It is destroying family relationships and is wreaking havoc, impacting the overall quality of life here. The number of accidents is increasing by the day and people’s health is getting severely affected, leading to death and disease. Alcohol changes human behaviour blurring the line between right and wrong.” She complained that the Frankenstein of alcoholism was being nurtured by the TDP government. It was obvious to me that the Chandrababu Naidu government does not have the social awareness and responsibility which this old woman demonstrated!
My resolve to ban liquor got strengthened further. In Veera Puram village I could experience the festive mood of Sankranti. People woke up in the early hours of the morning and decorated the front yards of their houses with colourful Rangoli. Flowers were strewn along the way to welcome me. I was overwhelmed by the warmth and affection of these villagers.
Narasimha Naidu, an old man, met me near Kobaka and narrated his tale of woe to me. His house had been completely destroyed in a cyclone recently. Revenue authorities estimated the loss at Rs.65,000 he said, but due to political reasons not a penny was released as compensation, he added. What was worse was the fact that the power transformer in the field where this farmer, who had taken the land on lease (kaulu), cultivated his crops, was also knocked down. His agricultural activity had come to a standstill because no effort was forthcoming from the government authorities to help him restore the transformer to a working state. While TDP leaders made money submitting bills for toilets in the village which were built 2 to 3 decades ago, eligible farmers like him were discriminated in every respect. Listening to the heartrending tale of suffering that this septuagenarian undergoes on an everyday basis, I felt deeply pained at this partisan and discriminatory attitude shown by the Chandrababu Naidu government towards the poorest of the poor.
In the evening Siva Chandra of Munna Samudra came to meet me with his mother and said, “Anna, we are SCs and hail from extremely impoverished background. I have completed my B.Tech from IIT scoring more than 80%. in 2014 and from then on, I have been hunting desperately for a job. Had your father, the late Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy been alive today, my situation would have been vastly different,” he said. “I would not have had to suffer like this, he lamented.” What will our rulers who, on the eve of elections, promised millions of jobs to the unemployed in the state, have to say to such youth? How can they even face them?
In conclusion, I have a question for the chief minister. There are millions of unemployed youth in AP, many of whom have completed higher studies and are constantly hunting for jobs in vain. They are filled with a sense of powerlessness, despair and pessimism. Whatever happened to your promise of a job for every home?