Shujat Ali ‘Sufi’, spokesperson of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC), talks about youth, employment, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the Modi-Shah-Yogi factor, and Muslim vote in Telangana during a telephonic conversation with Fasiullah SM, editor of Hyderabad Youth Mirror.
Below are excerpts:
- Employment is critical to youth. Why Congress, like other parties, has not given enough emphasis on job creation?
First of all, employment does not only mean government services. It encompasses numerous other areas of production and services. Government cannot create all the jobs in its institutions. It has to come up with policies and mechanism to promote establishment of a network of industries that are useful within the country and abroad. These industries create jobs for the youth.
The Modi government promoted ‘Make in India’ but delivered nothing. On the other hand, the employment you see today is the result of policies of former Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao and Dr Manmohan Singh. Congress has a solid track record of generating employment. Time and gain, Shri Rahul Gandhi emphasized establishment of industries and job creation.
We have also spoken about establishment of a network of industries, IT Corridor, and subsidized loans to youth during our election campaign.
- But the TRS government has worked on these three things in its rule. What will you do to further increase employment?
The TRS government has failed in it. Let me tell you that it did not spend even 50 percent of the funds allocated for minorities. Same is the case with funds allocated for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Backward Castes (BCs). They had no money except on paper.
They promised one lakh jobs without a proper blueprint, and ended up creating only eight to ten thousand jobs. We have a proper blue print and also the will to serve people.
- Youth have got various scholarships in TRS Government. Why would they vote for any other party?
No. Youth have not got scholarships as promised. The TRS government stopped scholarship to Muslim students, which resulted in closure of around 60 colleges. The PG scholarship for government college students also failed as funds were not released after one year of the scheme. And what KCR did for OU students who supported Telangana Movement? It is clear youth are unhappy.
- BJP brought Modi, Shah and Yogi to campaign in Telangana. Does it hurt prospects of Congress?
In fact, it’s a blessing. Their campaign in Telangana will split anti-incumbency votes. BJP may see a percent or two increase in their vote share, but a major beneficiary would be Congress. I could see TRS getting no more than 30 to 40 seats.
- Both Congress and TRS eye Muslim vote. In last elections, Muslims overwhelmingly supported TRS. Do you expect a change of heart this time? If yes, then why?
Indeed Muslims supported TRS in previous elections, but due to a major promise. KCR assured the community of 12 percent reservation in employment and education. When a person recently asked KCR about reservation during his campaign, he rebuked the man. The community has got a clear answer from the viral video of that response.
In reiterate, TRS failed youth and Muslims. It also failed STs, BCs, and Self Help Groups (SHGs) like DWCRA in Telangana. People will not be kind to the TRS party on December 7.