Exclusive: Ex-Air Force Pilot Uttam Reddy on Beating KCR for Cong
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bharadwaj
Cameraperson: Smitha TK
The race to win the Telangana throne is getting more thrilling as election day approaches. As ruling Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) is busy promising welfare schemes to farmers, he has competition brewing in the opposition camp.
Congress leader Uttam Kumar Reddy has filed his nomination in his home ground, the Huzurnagar constituency, and many say he could be the chief ministerial candidate floated by the grand alliance.
The rally saw hundreds of people dancing, flags waving, loud sloganeering and kolattam (folk dance).
The Quint caught up with the Congress leader to find out how he plans to defeat the KCR government this time.
In a candid conversation, Reddy said that he hopes their party doesn’t repeat any of these mistakes.
“This time, we have been far more careful and hopefully those mistakes won't be repeated. I am fairly sure that the people's front we have formed now – Congress-TDP-CPM-TJS – we will win the elections with an overwhelming majority,” said Reddy.
He criticised the ruling government for failing farmers, youth and women.
“He promised something and didn’t do it. He looted the state. He has been an oppressive dictator, trying to suppress people's rights. I think he has been exposed now,” he added.
He alleged that the chief minister’s move to dissolve the Telangana Assembly was a conspiracy. On 6 September 2018, KCR recommended the dissolution of the Assembly and called for early elections. He had said that he was doing it in the interests of the state, and that he wanted to curb the state’s political fragility.
However, Reddy said he suspects the early election has been a result of a conspiracy between PM Narendra Modi, the Election Commission, and KCR. He said there was no other explanation for how the schedule announced by KCR was exactly the same as what was announced by the Election Commission.
Reddy was a former fighter pilot and served as the Comptroller of Security, Protocol, Administration, Foreign Trips of the President at Rashtrapathi Bhavan. He is a
four-time MLA and a former minister of Housing.
Reddy said his agenda, if elected to power, would be to introduce farm loan waivers, unemployment toll, financial incentives to women’s self-help groups, and remunerative prices for farmers to purchase crops.
If Congress wins, Reddy could become the chief minister – but when asked, he chooses to leave it to Rahul Gandhi.
“I have no such ambitions. My limited role is to lead the Congress party this election. And I think I will do that successfully. The next step is in the hands of Rahul Gandhi,” he said.