Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao on Tuesday asked senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh to prove his allegations of irregularities in purchase of vehicles by the state government or withdraw the allegations and apologise.
Rama Rao, who is son of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, told reporters that if the former Union Minister failed to provide evidence or apologise, action would be taken against him. He, however, did not elaborate.
The state Industries, Information technology and Municipal Administration Minister said that the Congress leader can't get away by making such wild and false allegations.
"If you have any common sense, respond to this. You should either prove your allegations or apologise to the government and people of Telangana," said Rama Rao.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader was responding to the allegation by Jairam Ramesh that the state government had placed an order worth about Rs 271 crore for the purchase of police vehicles from two companies -- Harsha Toyota owned by NDA Vice Presidential candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu's son and Himanshu Motors owned by Rama Rao.
"If he proves that I own a company I will give it to him," said Rama Rao. He clarified that he had a stock yard for tractors about 7 to 8 years ago but it was closed 4 years before Telangana was created.
KTR, as the minister is popularly known, said the government purchased 300 Toyota Innova vehicles directly from the company. "We don't deal with individual dealers," he said denying the allegation that the government purchased the vehicles from a dealer firm owned by Venkaiah Naidu's son.
The minister said the vehicles were purchased at the rates fixed by ADGS&D (Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal), a central government organisation. "We did nothing new. We followed the policy formulated by previous Congress governments," he added.
KTR slammed Jairam for his remark that the tax exemption given to Swarna Bharat Trust of Naidu's daughter is unprecedented. He said successive governments had been giving exemptions to not-for-profit organisations, NGOs, religious or spiritual bodies.
The TRS leader said the "wild and baseless" allegations reflect the "intellectual bankruptcy" of the Congress. He alleged that the Congress leaders were resorting to cheap politics, unable to digest the fact that they are out of power and with TRS undertaking several pro-people measures, they had no issues.
KTR said the Congress was following the policy of 'loot, jhoot (lies) and scoot'. The minister alleged that the Congress resorts to loot while in power and speaks lies when in opposition. "Whenever asked to show evidence to prove the allegations, they run away," he said.