Days after the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) suspended two senior leaders, an audio clip of one of the suspended leaders, Pittala Ravinder, went viral on social media.
The clip, which appears to be part of a phone call, sees Ravinder offering an 'interest-free' loan of Rs 2 lakh to a TJAC member, while asking him to ensure that he attended a meeting against the committee's chairman, M Kodandaram.
The former TJAC convenor was speaking to the committee's Sircilla district convenor.
"I will help you out with whatever you need. If you have any business plan and need any investment, I will give you. Think about it. We have a meeting in Hyderabad. Make sure you come...if you need anything else, let me know. I can arrange around Rs 2 lakh loan for you, without interest," Ravinder is heard saying.
"You can repay it after you settle down and figure out things. Don't worry. But, make sure you come tomorrow morning for the meeting. Many others are also coming," he adds.
However, Ravinder has admitted that the audio clip is genuine.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Ravinder said, “Yes, the audio is true. When the TJAC chairman and I had toured Sircilla in the past, local TJAC members explained about their financial problems. They asked the TJAC to help them find suitable means of livelihood. It was the responsibility of Kodandaram to take care of TJAC members who are still in abject poverty...Therefore, I called Srinivas and asked him to attend the dissidents’ meeting on March 6, promising him to provide a loan. What is wrong in it?”
Last week, the TJAC suspended its Co-Chairman N Prahalad and Convenor Pittala Ravinder after they questioned TJAC Chairman M Kodandaram.
Following a meeting of its steering committee, the TJAC announced that it had taken the decision to suspend the two senior leaders.
The organisation also alleged that the ruling TRS party in Telangana 'triggered' the revolt, as they were worried with its growing influence in the state, and the recent 'success' of its rally for unemployed youth in the state.
In a statement, the organisation said, "Rulers are trying to weaken people’s organisations. We are suspending Prahlad and Ravinder who conspired with the ruling establishment against TJAC...As the rally became a super-hit and TJAC emerged as the voice of the people, the ruling establishment has intensified its efforts to hatch a bigger conspiracy against TJAC.
The suspension of the two senior leaders came after two open letters sent to Kodandaram by the duo, accusing the TJAC chief of treating the organisation like a political party, and allying constantly with other Opposition parties in the state.
"Is TJAC a social organisation or a political party? Prof Kodandaram is running it like a political party. In the general body meeting held earlier, it was decided to run TJAC like a social organisation. Due to his hasty decisions, the unemployment rally brought disrepute to TJAC," the letter read.