Suspended TRS minister Etala Rajender made it clear that he was not aspiring to become the chief minister as is being predicted by his Cabinet colleagues. He asserted that he never crossed the limits set by the party and even welcomed contemplations of KCR’s son KTR to be made the Chief Minister.
Taking exception to minister Gangula Kamalakar’s harsh comments that Rajender is ‘a tiger in the guise of a goat’ and that he is a ‘snake in the anthill’, he said that he would not like to pass counter statements. However, he reminded that the entire Telangana movement began from either Kamalapur or Huzurabad in Karimnagar district from which constituencies he was elected six times as an MLA.
“Now, I will not respond to their comments but leave it to their discretion,” Etala said. Reminding about an incident in the past when he, who was a minister, accompanied by other MLAs, including Kamalakar, was prevented from entering the Pragathi Bhavan without any valid reason, Etala recalled that Gangula said such instances would trigger more agitations. “Now, the same Gangula is making unsavoury remarks about me,” he lamented.
Addressing media in Huzurabad, Etala agreed that he had risen to the position of a minister only due to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao but reminded that he too was worth his salt and that his ascent in the political circles was not solely due to KCR. However, he said it would be good if KCR can recognise them at least as humans, though not as ministers.
Etala lamented that after 2014, democracy got diluted. Being elected representatives, every leader has the right to meet their colleagues even if they are in the opposition, but since the formation of separate Telangana, no opposition leader dared to approach the ruling party leaders or ministers at least regarding resolving people’s grievances. Similarly, even the ruling party leaders can speak to the leaders of the opposition. Is there anything wrong in it, he asked.
Once any political leader meets other party men, immediately there is a lot of speculation about switching loyalties to the other party, he lamented.
Ready for probe
Etala reminded that leaders in the top positions should be aware that grass roots workers also play a role in bringing victories to the party. “It could have been better if the CM called me and told me to resign instead of foisting land cases against me and even scrutinising my bank accounts. Is this drama necessary,” he asked.
“I am ready for any punishment, if they can prove that I am guilty. I am ready for a probe into the land dispute allegations, my businesses by a sitting judge,” he affirmed.
He said that he would resign to the MLA post after taking suggestions of the people in Huzurabad constituency who voted him to power four times.
Etala said that he would die but would never sell his self-respect at any cost.