Within a couple of hours from the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao ordering the chief secretary to initiate an inquiry by the district collector and by the vigilance police, Rajender spoke to media late on Friday, alleging a well-hatched plot to malign him and assassin his character.
The six-time member of the Legislative Assembly and senior Telangana separatist movement leader said he would decide on stepping down from the cabinet based on the outcome of enquiries against him, while daring enquiries by any or all the top agencies.
“I will not surrender to these threats and pledge my self-esteem come what may,” said Rajender, adding that he enjoyed a track record of not pledging his self-esteem even during the Telangana movement. “Let the government take any action if it is proved that my family has encroached even a single acre of assigned land.”
Rajender, a backward class leader with a background of the leftist movement, has been in the news often for airing dissent on various issues pertaining to the development and policies of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government over the last few years.
Hours after T News television, considered the ruling party’s official channel, airing news on alleged encroachment of assigned lands by minister Rajender’s family for their poultry business, CM Rao on Friday evening ordered the enquiry.
Political analyst Vasireddy Srinivas said, “The timing of the telecasting of the more than four years old allegations against the minister on the day the municipal elections were over, the last of the series of elections in Telangana over the last few months, gives rise to suspicion that it was a well laid out plot to oust Rajender, who is considered a strong leader and a threat to the prospects of CM Rao’s son KT Rama Rao, who was touted as the next chief minster.”
Terming it a plot of CM Rao to make Etela Rajender a “scapegoat to makeup his failures in curtailing the pandemic in Telangana,” Congress national spokesperson Dasoju Sravan in a statement alleged that “the CM had crafted a political conspiracy on the sincere BC leader and a great Telangana fighter (Rajender).”
BJP has demanded a high-level enquiry commission to investigate into allegations against all the other ministers and MLAs of the ruling party. “BJP stands vindicated on our charge that CM KCR is leading a corrupt government in the state, and most of his ministers and MLA’s are corrupt land grabbers, who are fleecing poor and common people of Telangana State,” said BJP Telangana spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao.