Telangana minister’s supporters protest over ‘false allegations’ (2nd Ld)


Supporters of Telangana’s minister Eatala Rajender staged a protest here on Saturday to show solidarity with him on a day when a probe began into land grabbing allegations against him.

The minister’s supporters staged a sit-in on the highway at Shameerpet on the outskirts of Hyderabad, condemning the allegations made against him.

Raising slogans in support of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader, they sat on the road, leading to traffic jam. They claimed that the allegations of land grabbing against Rajender are false and part of a conspiracy against him.

As the protestors refused to end the road blockade, police forcibly removed them and shifted them to nearest police station.

Meanwhile, Rajender appealed to his supporters to stay calm. He took to Twitter to appeal to people, workers and leaders of his Huzurabad constituency to show restraint. He urged them not to come to Hyderabad in view of the Covid pandemic and face the problems.

His appeal came amid reports that several of his supporters from the constituency were heading to Hyderabad to show solidarity with him.

Police have stepped up security in the constituency, especially in Rajender’s native village Kamlapur in view of possible protests by the minister’s supporters.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday took over the medical, health and family welfare portfolio from Rajender in view of the allegations levelled against him.

The development came a day after the Chief Minister ordered inquiry into allegation of land grabbing against his cabinet colleague.

The Chief Minister on Friday evening instructed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to get an inquiry done by the district collector on the complaints of encroachment of lands.

He also instructed Vigilance DGP Purnachandra Rao to find out the truth on the allegations.

Chandrasekhar Rao ordered the probe after some farmers in Medak district submitted a complaint to him alleging that the health minister forcibly took over their assigned lands to start a poultry industry.

Rajender, however, denied the allegations and claimed that a campaign was being run for his character assassination.

Rajender said he was ready to face a probe even by a sitting judge or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).