Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)’s Telangana unit chief R S Praveen Kumar, who is also the Chief Minister candidate from the party, has announced that he will contest the upcoming state Assembly elections from the Sirpur constituency. The IPS officer-turned-politician made the announcement on Saturday, July 8, during a programme held in Kagaznagar. While expressing his intention to contest from Sirpur, the BSP president also came down heavily on Sirpur MLA Koneru Konappa, who is a member of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).
“Contractors and looters backed by the local MLA and his followers are ruling the roost of the Sirpur region,” the BSP president said on the occasion. Alleging that the Kagaznagar (Sirpur) Paper Mill management is colluding with the MLA and cheating the employees, he further claimed the management is paying better salaries to those who are from the neighbouring states while the local employees are being paid low salaries.
The BSP believes that Praveen Kumar has better chances of becoming an MLA if he contests from Sirpur as the party has a good presence in the region. It is to be noted that when Koneru Konappa emerged victorious as the MLA of the constituency in 2014, he was contesting from a BSP ticket.
Praveen Kumar had taken voluntary retirement from his service to join politics in 2021. Belonging to the Madiga community, a Scheduled Caste, he emerged as an important figure in the state for his initiatives to uplift the downtrodden. In his capacity as the Secretary of Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS), Praveen Kumar had brought several changes to the government-run institutions and ensured that students from Dalit, Bahujan, and Adivasi communities could join esteemed universities for their education.
Impressed by his mobilisation of Dalit-Bahujans towards BSP, the party’s national president Mayawati had declared earlier this year that the police-turned-politician will be the Chief Minister of Telangana if their party comes to power in the state. Telangana is likely to go to polls by the end of the year.