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Cong. rebuilds glory of Telangana: Deepa Dasmunshi
Deepa Dasmunshi, Telangana State Congress election observer from AICC in a freewheeling conversation on the Congress strategy for polls, outcome and programmes to be carried out if voted to power
In a candid conversation with Askari Jaffer, Deepa Dasmunshi, Telangana State Congress election observer from AICC, shares insights into the challenges faced, key achievements of the party's campaign, and outlines plans for the state's future if Congress comes to power. From addressing issues of corruption and land grabbing to connecting with diverse communities, Dasmunshi highlights the party's commitment to restoring dignity, respecting people's aspirations, and implementing the six guarantees promised. As the political landscape evolves, she discusses the unique challenges faced in Telangana, the importance of youth engagement, and the party's vision for unity and development beyond the elections. The article provides a comprehensive view of Congress' strategy and aspirations for Telangana's future.
How was the experience of elections in Telangana State?
When I came three months back as senior observer of Telangana for elections, it seems to be very hard because obviously our party, though Sonia Gandhi has given Telangana State but for last ten years we were not in power. Also, a lot of people from our party including 12 MLAs have shifted towards BRS. So, we are not in a very comfortable position, but what we gathered from the ground level people is they were desperate for a change. Almost all the leaders are fighting in election this time. So, there were hardly any leaders who are outside the election contesting. But today, I can say we are in a very comfortable position.
Can you highlight some key achievements or moments from your party campaign that you believe have resonated positively with the electorate and set your party apart from the competition?
When we gave Telangana at the cost of Andhra, it was not very easy and also for the people of Telangana who fought. They had their vision, they had their dream why they are fighting for a separate statehood. And it was not a political start. It was a people's cry because there was oppression highly. Though Telangana is culturally very strong and full of resources. Even then, Telangana people were very poor. So, they fought for a separate state.
After Sonia Gandhi declared separate state, we were not in power for ten years. All our MLA and agents switched to BRS and the betterment which is expected didn’t happened. There is no change in the educational system, there is no change in the health system, there is no change in the women and the child sector like I was surprised to know that most of the Anganwadis have been shut down because there is no toilet at all. There are schools why the girls drop out was more than the boys because not there are no toilets for the girls, so there are dropouts. Then liquor is another issue why the rate of widows is going up because their husbands are getting into liquors. Obviously, they are having their liver problems kind of disease and they are dying. Moreover, malnutrition is also there here very much so all these things have made Telangana. It is not the Telangana they wanted. So therefore, they want a change. And what Congress party we in the other states where we are into power like Rajasthan like Himachal, Karnataka. Whatever promises we have done.
I feel here also, the six promises which we have given had reached into the grassroot level in door to door campaign. We have done it and people are happy because they know in Karnataka things are happening because that is the neighbouring state. So, things are happening. They know that years Congress is making a change, this wouldn't have happened if Rahul Gandhi was not there it made when Rahul entered the state obviously through Karnataka. They started believing that what he is saying and what he's doing is for the betterment of the country for the betterment to why they are because they are fighting for safe democracy.
Voter turn-out is a crucial aspect of any democracy. What efforts has your party made to encourage higher voter participation, especially considering the unique circumstances and challenges posed by the ongoing global situation?
It is the kind of mechanism what we have done. To connecting people. That is the main mechanism, how to connect people, how to connect all communities, how to connect all religions, how to connect all section of people so in the cities our plan is different. In the villages the plans are different. So, in that way we all we have made all the people, whether there are farmers, labors, they are trade union people or maybe in the organized sectors or unorganized sectors. We have connected all and we have made small meetings with everyone. So, every sector we have not kept anything untouched and in the global perception.
The youth vote is often seen as a game-changer. How has your party engaged with the youth demographic, and what specific policies or initiatives does your party have to address the aspirations and concerns of the younger generation?
Yes, it comes as a game changer and here youth. Just within the election campaign, one girl committed suicide and there are a lot of youth like we did this bus yatra which is called Unemployment express so not our party people or boys are there. They are mostly the unemployed youth who are there who did this and everywhere where the bus stops they were getting down interacting with people, youth are joining with them so.
We did our meeting in Osmania University. We did our meeting with groups of youth who have just passed out from the university and looking for a job. We met the IT people also where there is a huge IT hub here, a lot of people working that they are also facing a lot of problems. We have spoken to all of them, we tried to add those problems and how to resolve it. We have our plan. and let's come to women's issues and we have given already the job calendar. Job calendar has been printed in all the newspapers and in our manifesto. Also, that how many jobs in the government sector is lying vacant and how we will just fulfill it. So, it is a hugenumber which has come many it comes to women. Nobody brought the woman reservation bill and it has not been implemented and no one knows when it will be implemented.
Women's care and women's respect and especially Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi always speak about Priyanka Gandhi made a program Ladki hoon, ladsakthi hoon so how women can fight. Initially there was no women representation in the ministry. Later on, the daughter came but initially there was nothing. So, I'm not very sure whether that that party is a feudal party or not. But for sure, Telangana women should come up. There are a lot of women. I know Shanta Sinha got a Ramon Magsaysay award from here only because she worked in the child development sector. So, there are a lot of women, not only her Sora Begum being a Muslim, she's fighting. Who will raise the issues for women and we will be because there are also many women MLAs who will win in this time from Congress.
Exit polls and pre-election surveys can influence public perception. How does your party plan to manage expectations and convey its message to the public regardless of the election outcome?
When it is good we say yes, it is right. When it is bad then we will say no, it is wrong. We don't plan anything. Sometimes exit poll never match the actual result. We have seen such scenarios earlier. But yes, mostly for telling almost all the exit polls are giving a good number for our party. So, we are happy our workers are happy. It boosted the morale of the workers.