The Congress on Sunday demanded that a case of corruption be registered against Telangana Labour Minister Malla Reddy, alleging that he collected several crore rupees from aspirants who wished to contest in the state's municipal elections, to hand out tickets of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad, All India Congress Committee (AICC) Spokesperson Dr Dasoju Sravan also demanded that Malla Reddy be sacked from the cabinet with immediate effect.
The Congress made the allegation after a senior TRS leader, Rapolu Ramulu, had leaked audio clips of certain phone calls, purportedly between Malla Reddy and other TRS leaders, and alleged that the minister had been demanding money from aspirants.
Playing out the audio clips, Sravan said, "(The clips) suggest that Malla Reddy and his close relatives asked for huge money to give TRS party tickets."
Asking whether seeking money to give party ticket was not corruption, Sravan demanded that the Anti-Corruption Bureau register a suo motu case against the minister and his relatives.
"Some aspirants have also spoken to media, accusing the minister of demanding huge amounts. When ACB can arrest employees for demanding money, why is it silent when a similar crime is allegedly being committed by a minister?" Sravan asked.
He also demanded a high level enquiry into the allegations and stern action against the minister. He said that the Congress party would lodge a formal complaint with the police and the Election Commission in this regard.
"Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had announced in the past that he would not spare anyone who indulges in corruption. Does he still maintain the same stand on corruption? If yes, then why he is silent on the allegations against Malla Reddy," the Congress leader asked.
The TRS and Congress are the main contenders for the municipal polls, scheduled to be held on January 22, while the BJP is also in the fray.