The ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) on Monday suspended former Khammam MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy and former minister Jupally Krishna Rao for anti-party activities. The move came a day after both levelled serious allegations against party president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at an Atmeeya Sammelan.
At the event, which was organised by Srinivas Reddy in Kothagudem and was attended by Krishna Rao, the duo alleged that the “corrupt CM” was “undemocratic” and was “looting public money”.
Speaking to News18, Jupally Krishna Rao detailed his allegations. “I was not being given membership books for the last three years. I was invisible. So through the suspension, the BRS has at least confirmed that I was in the party. I am very happy now. I feel like a bird freed from a cage.”
“So many youths died by suicide to achieve Telangana, but the main purpose of forming a new state is not being served under BRS. The party is not concerned about the self-respect of the people of Telangana,” he further alleged.
Rao claimed the BRS had lost the “moral right” to rule the state, and alleged that the Chief Minister was taking decisions “according to his whims and fancies at the cost of the public”.
“I would have been happier if they had released a statement mentioning how my remarks were wrong. I just spoke facts. I stick to my statements and I will prove them. They could not digest the truth.”
Speaking to News18, Rao also alleged irregularities in tenders, suspecting the exchange of kickbacks. “Earlier, when the government would call for tenders for any development activity, bidders would quote 30-40% less than the estimated rate. However, in the last eight years, all bidders have invariably quoted prices that are only 0.1 or 0.2 or 0.3 percent less than the estimates. How is that possible every time?” he questioned.
Rao further accused the CM of ignoring public grievances and issues. Invoking the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who was the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh from 2004 until his death in 2009, Rao said: “Pragathi Bhavan was built so that people could reach out to the CM. Then chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy used to keep aside one hour every day to accept representations from the people. Why can’t KCR do that? Let alone the public, he does not even meet elected representatives or Opposition leaders. Is this not suppression of democracy?”
Rao also voiced his suspicion that the party “sent money through Nagarkurnool so that I lose”.
“I resigned from the cabinet to join the Telangana movement. I did a padyatra in my district. At that time, there was no BRS. Last elections, they got seven seats in the district. This time they got 13 seats despite me losing. I lost because of BRS. I came to know from trusted sources that they sent money through Nagarkurnool so that I lose. They do not want seniors in the party.”
“All Telangana ‘drohulu‘ (traitors) who objected to the formation of Telangana are now being given important positions in the party,” Rao added.
Srinivas Reddy, who jumped to BRS from YSRCP in 2014, was denied a ticket in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Krishna Rao lost the 2018 Assembly polls on a BRS ticket from Kollapur seat. B Harshavardhan Reddy from the Congress, who had defeated Rao, joined BRS later.
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