BJP allegations, Congress silence confound Telangana unit

HYDERABAD: The BJP’s Telangana unit has launched a series of accusations against the ruling Congress targeting Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Bhatti Vikramarka and Minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy in particular.

While allegations by an Opposition party against the ruling party are commonplace, what has sparked talk in political circles is the Congress reaction — the grand old party, barring Uttam in one instance, has more or less ignored these allegations.

BJP Legislative Party leader Aletti Maheswar Reddy has accused the chief minister, deputy chief minister, and minister of collecting money illegally and sending it to Delhi.

He claimed that Uttam collected Rs 100 crore through collusion with rice millers in the state’s paddy procurement process. Maheswar Reddy, who has been holding daily press conferences, insisted he can substantiate his allegations against the Civil Supplies minister.

Prior to these claims, Maheswar Reddy accused Vikramarka of collecting money from contractors in exchange for bill approvals. These allegations did create ripples within the Congress, but again, the deputy chief minister chose to ignore them.

Earlier, Maheswar Reddy alleged that the chief minister was collecting “R tax” from contractors and builders. This particular allegation was repeated by PM Narendra Modi during his poll campaign in Telangana.

Modi added another “R” to it, and said that the CM was collecting “RR tax”, insinuating the involvement of Revanth and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

The BJP’s allegations, and the lack of rebuttal by state Congress leaders, have led to some discomfiture among the party cadre. Except for Uttam’s public condemnation of the allegations, other party leaders have remained largely silent.

Adding to the pressure, Maheswar Reddy has written an open letter to the chief minister containing 18 questions about paddy procurement and rice procurement from millers. He has also called for a CBI inquiry into the procurement processes and demanded the formation of an all-party panel to investigate alleged corruption in supplies department.

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