Lok Sabha MPs Asaduddin Owaisi, Pasunoori Dayakar and Ranjith Reddy were the only MPs from the state who were termed ‘highly’ accessible.

Only 3 of 17 Telangana MPs highly accessible to citizens volunteer survey findsImage for representation only
Coronavirus Politics Tuesday, June 08, 2021 - 19:32

While the pandemic has seen several citizen volunteers coming forward to help COVID-hit families with the oxygen supply, medicines deliveries, arranging beds and ventilators, it has raised questions on whether public representatives are actually there when people really need them. Are the leaders accessible to the public in any mode of communication? Will they help citizens, if they are approached? These were some of the pertinent questions raised by a group of 14 volunteers through ‘Woman Commission Matters’ in collaboration with the Young India Foundation. Together, they have launched the campaign, ‘Call your MP’ in Telangana.

After calling and compiling data for two weeks, the team released their research in a report on accessibility of the 17 Telangana Lok Sabha MPs. As per their findings, only three out of 17 MPs were highly accessible to the public, while the rest of them were classified as moderate, low, and not accessible after calling the MPs for three days in a row at different times.

The classification was done based on responses from the MPs. If an MP directly spoke to the volunteer and shared the information, they were termed as 'highly' accessible. If a volunteer got any response from a personal assistant or other associate, they were termed as 'moderately' accessible. If the number is accessible, but they ask to call back later, with no response even after that, then they are termed as 'low' accessibility, since there is still a phone number available. If there is no response at all, they are termed not accessible/available.

Three MPs, Asaduddin Owaisi, Pasunoori Dayakar, and Ranjith Reddy, were highly accessible when called and responded with a list of activities conducted during the pandemic. Meanwhile, the team also went through the social media accounts of MPs and listed the same in their survey result. A full list can be accessed below.

Commenting on the goal behind this campaign, activist Spurthi Kolipaka, the campaign strategist in Telangana, said, “The purpose of this survey is to understand the accessibility of the MPs. Are we able to reach out to them in need? It is the fundamental duty of the public representative to be accessible to their constituents. We wanted to understand in their own interventions conducted during COVID-19 times.”

She further noted that the results were alarming. “Only 3 out of 17 MPs came under highly accessible indicators. We need our MPs to be more reachable. Surprisingly, the leaders such as Arvind Dharmapuri, Revanth Reddy, who are active on social media and seem to be accessible are not available when we tried to reach them after many attempts.”

Meanwhile, one of the volunteers, Aaisha Uttarwar, who was making the calls, said that there were MPs who were patient in answering questions and giving information that they needed and there were also other representatives who blatantly hung up on them.

Here are the results of the survey:

Dr Gaddam Ranjith Reddy, Chevella - Highly accessible

Kotha Prabhakar Reddy, Medak - Low

Pasunoori Dayakar, Warangal - High

Mahbubabad, Maloth Kavitha - Moderate

Dharmapuri Arvind, Nizamabad - Not available

Anumula Revanth Reddy, Malkajgiri - Not available 

Nama Nageswara Rao, Khammam - Moderate

Uttam Kumar Reddy, Nalgonda - Not available

Bapu Rao Soyam, Adilabad - Not available

Asaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad - High

Pothuganti Ramulu, Nagarkurnool - Low

Manne Srinivas Reddy, Mahaboobnagar - Moderate

G Kishan Reddy, Secunderabad - Moderate

Patil Bheemrao Baswanthrao, Zaheerabad - Moderate

Borlakunta Venkatesh Netha, Peddapalli - Not available

Komatireddy Venkatreddy, Bhongi - Not available

Bandi Sanjay Kumar, Karimnagar - Moderate

Read: Undoing centuries of conditioning against women a mammoth task: Spurthi Kolipaka intv