Close to 200 turmeric farmers have filed their nominations to compete against sitting MP and K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in the Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency. In terms of optics, despite Kavitha’s efforts to get the Government of India to establish a National Turmeric Board, the mass move does not show the TRS in a positive light.
Stepped in KCR to show his heart beat for the farmers of Telangana, without bringing in the politics of Nizamabad into it. KCR who has always described himself as a farmer, reached out to a farmer Sharath in Mancherial district in north Telangana. Sharath had posted on social media about his father’s land that he claimed was transferred to his relative by local revenue officials by tampering with land records. Sharath had written about it on the chief minister’s Facebook page.
KCR responded to the post and called Sharath who explained to him how the relative to who the land had been transferred illegally was the one who was receiving the Rythu Bandhu cheques issued by the Telangana government, even while residing in Hyderabad. The KCR government gives Rs 8000 per acre to every land owning farmer every year under the Rythu Bandhu scheme.
The CM followed it up with instructions issued to the district collector Bharathi Hollikeri, who suspended two revenue officials for allegedly tampering with the records. KCR was also candid enough to admit that corruption is rampant even for getting routine things done. Sharath’s family was happy because by the end of the day, it had received a cheque for Rs 31200.
While the episode showed the power of social media, it was also a pointer to the inability of the system to make things easy for the common man, making him seek redressal from the most powerful in the land.
At a political level, the Telangana CM stayed true to the name of his government’s flagship programme, Rythu Bandhu, which means farmer’s friend. At a cinematic level, KCR had taken a leaf out of 1999 Tamil film `Mudhalvan’ which means chief minister (`Oke Okkadu in Telugu and `Nayak’ in Hindi) in which actor Arjun who becomes CM for one day resolves issues that are addressed directly to him.