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Suravaram sees realignment of political parties after 2014 polls

Suravaram sees realignment of  political parties after 2014 polls
Highlights

Your journey to politics was as a student leader unlike most politicians of today. What has been your experience? I have been influenced by my...

Your journey to politics was as a student leader unlike most politicians of today. What has been your experience? I have been influenced by my father Suravaram Venkatrami Reddy and his elder brother Suravaram Pratap Reddy who had played an active role in the freedom struggle. I observed from close quarters their struggle for the deprived sections and the potential for a better and more equal world with socialism. I got involved with All India Student Federation (AISF) activities during my schooling days in Kurnool and was an active participant in the AISF struggle for better facilities in schools. Later I was involved with the activities of All India Youth Federation (AIYF). The student and youth movements took me to Delhi and thereby came to work in the active movements of Communist Party of India (CPI).
You have visited several countries and have an international exposure to politics. How do you see Indian politics to other countries?
Every country has its own specific culture. So it cannot be compared. However, there is class divide across continents and poor people everywhere are being deprived of their rightful share. We are the 99% and we want our rights are a slogan that is now being heard in every part of the world. Left leaning parties have democratically come to power in a large number of Latin American and European countries and also in other parts of the world. In India too after the domination of pro-World Bank Congress & BJP governments for over a long period, people are now realizing the nature of these parties and strong progressive movements are taking shape.
Your party has taken a clear stand that it will not help or support the Congress or the BJP in any future scenario. Suppose we have a situation where the Congress is on the edge and the BJP is to form the government then what will be your stand?
We are making sure that such a scenario does not arise by bringing together parties opposed to the anti-people policies into a united movement and thereby strengthen the Third Front. In 2014, neither the UPA, nor the NDA will be able to form government. We are working towards a Third Front that will form government. The Left parties cannot join the UPA or the NDA. Realignment of political parties is inevitable after the 2014 polls.
You have been a MP twice from Nalgonda, tell us something about your projects there.
Nalgonda has been a stronghold of the Communist movement and its first MP Ravi Narayan Reddy got the highest majority in the country. Irrespective of holding or not holding the seat, the Communist Party has been spearheading several agitations for the betterment of the extremely backward district. As a Member of Parliament I could make the issues be heard in parliament. Key focus has been on the issue of fluoride water. Another important issue has been the large number of accidents on the National Highway passing through the district. In spite of the unresponsive governments at the Centre and the state, we could make headway in many of the issues. Using constituency development funds we could bring computers to some school, street lights to villages and construct culverts to improve roads.
After a gap of 25 years, a Telugu has taken over the reins of CPI. How do you feel it?
It is a matter of pride to step into the shoes of such a tall stalwart as CR Rajeshwar Rao. He was a leader who led movements from Telangana Armed Struggle to many international movements. I will make all efforts to take forward the ideals that he and other communist leaders espoused and sacrificed so much for.
The younger generation is not very keen on the communist ideas. Do you agree?
It is not true that younger generation is self centered or that they are not likely to be attracted to Communist ideas. The success of numerous movements is due to participation of the youth. The average age of our representatives in elected bodies is less than that of most other parties. However, it is important that we make more efforts to galvanise the youth disgruntlement towards the system into a constructive force. For that reason we are working on our digital platforms and other innovative mediums. We are able to attract lakhs of youth to discussions on our face book page www.facebook.com/cpofinia and our websitewww.communistparty.in.
You help anybody in need. Marches, dharnas and you render total help but when it comes to voting the issue is totally different. Why?
Polarisation among big money spending parties has been the reason people have not voted for us in the numbers that reflect the strength of our movements. Another reason has been the splintering of left and progressive votes. By building a strong alternative movement by bringing together like-minded groups we will present an alternative front.
"Grammeen Uppati hami patakam," Do you think it was successful?
The minimum employment guarantee scheme was a big achievement of the Left support to UPA 1. There is a visible increase in the income of the poor but the standard of living has further gone down due to unabated price rise. The government has miserably failed to control the prices. Though the scheme has been mired in mismanagement and corruption, it is an important scheme and it has to be revitalised.
The Left parties are fighting against the hike in electricity tariff. Will you continue with this fight after the TDP had hijacked the movement?.
The Left parties had earlier waged a protracted struggle on electricity prices that led to be one of the important factors for the fall of the TDP government. They learnt a lesson and are now opposed to steep hike in power tariff. The present rulers have put a huge burden on the people as a result of their mismanagement. We will continue with the movement till the government backtracks on the tariff hike.
On Telangana what is your stand?
Though we were for Vishal Andhra for all Telugu speaking people, the government's lopsided policies favouring a handful of rich people have sunken Telangana into further misery. We demand that a separate Telangana state be granted immediately so that the people in Telangana have the right to chalk out their own course of development.
The CPI is always playing second fiddle to the CPM. Now since you are in the helm of the CPI, will you work towards the unification of the Left parties?
The CPM is in no mood for a merger of the communist parties. However, we are working together on all important national issues. Your hobbies? You write books and are a voracious reader. What are the books you have penned?
I have had the opportunity to author or co-author many books on socialist subjects. I also served as the chairman of the prestigious publishing house Vishalaandhra. Now I am heading People's Publishing House that publishes a large number of progressive books. The books are available onwww.peoplespublishinghouse.com. We are planning to bring in eBooks soon.
Please tell us about your family.
My family is a very close knit one and everybody is involved in social work in one way or the other. My father Suravaram Venkatrami Reddy was the founder leader of the Communist Party in Mahabubnagar District and led the district unit in the armed struggle against the Nizam. My wife Vijayalakshmi s an active trade union activist. Both my sons Nikhil and Kapil are involved in social work, too.
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