Hyderabad: In a significant political development, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday ordered a high-level probe into an alleged encroachment of assigned lands by Health Minister Eatala Rajender. The CM instructed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to get an inquiry done by the Medak District Collector on the complaints of encroachment of lands on the outskirts of Achampet in the district. Rao directed Somesh to submit a comprehensive report on the matter. The CM also instructed Vigilance DGP Purnachandra Rao to find out if there was any truth in the allegations. He insisted that the preliminary inquiry was carried out immediately.
With the CM ordering a probe into the allegations of land-grabbing against the Health Minister, it appears that the reported differences between the duo have reached a point of no return. This either means that Rajender may resign from his post in the near future or Rao may drop him from the Cabinet. It may be mentioned that Rajender’s relationship with the CM has remained cold for a while now. He has been in the news for his controversial comments against the government, albeit indirect ones. Rajender had also claimed that his community (BC) were the owners of the TRS, and strongly opposed the domination of upper-caste leaders in politics. Earlier, there were also reports that Rajender would float a new regional party, though he was quick to dismiss these claims.
On Friday, the CM, who is currently quarantined at his farmhouse in Erravalli, reacted to news alleging Eatala’s involvement in encroachment of lands, which was covered by vernacular news channels, including the T-News, the mouthpiece of the TRS. T-News carried the story with the tag line, “Aarogya Mantriki Kabja Rogam” (Health Minister gripped by land-grab disease). According to complainants Erukula Yellaiah, Chakali Krishna, and others, Rajender encroached around 20 acres of assigned lands in Achampet village. They alleged that his aides Suri and Sudhakar Reddy even threatened that they would block the road to their lands.
Never spoke against govt, says Eatala:
He said that he never spoke against the government, but spoke on behalf of the people. He was taking about the Chief Minister as he was a “Mudiraj Bidda” who never compromised in the face of difficulty but would always fight for justice. Rajender also mentioned the CMO Secretary Narsing Rao and said that the CMO official was aware of the assigned lands issue. He said that he also brought the assigned lands issue to the notice of the Chief Minister.
Without naming anyone, Rajender said people were aware about the rise of some leaders and their history. “Some, who used to travel on bikes, have earned hundreds of crores of rupees now,” he said. He wanted the government to order a probe into who owned entire parcels of assigned lands in the State. The Minister said that the assigned lands in question, were barren and not arable.
“The farmers handed over the lands to me. As I wanted those lands for expansion of the poultry farm, I handed the documents of the lands to the local MRO,” he said. “When we came to the rescue of several students during the separate Telangana movement, no one asked where I got the money from but are asking now,” Rajender said. “I had declared all my assets in the election affidavits,” he pointed out.