Several Telugu channels, including TRS-owned T News, reported allegations that Eatala occupied lands in Medak district to build a poultry farm.

Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender addressing the mediaImage: Facebook/Eatala Rajendar
news Controversy Friday, April 30, 2021 - 22:23

Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender has denied the allegations of land grabbing against him that surfaced on April 30 evening. Several Telugu media channels, including T News, which is owned by the ruling TRS, reported that Eatala and his followers had allegedly occupied assigned lands in Medak district, to build a hatchery owned by Eatala’s family. 

Following complaints by farmers from the Medak district, who alleged that Eatala forcibly took over nearly 100 acres of their assigned lands (allotted by the government to landless farmers for cultivation) to start a poultry industry, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has ordered a probe into the allegations. 

The land in question is situated on the outskirts of Achampet village in Masaipet Mandal in Medak district. According to the Chief Minister's office, CM K Chandrasekhar Rao has instructed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to get an inquiry done by the District Collector. The DC has been instructed to compile a comprehensive report and submit the same to the CM. Director General of Police, Vigilance, Purnachandra Rao was also instructed to investigate the allegations. The CM reportedly issued orders that the primary inquiry on the matter must be done immediately.

Eatala addressed a media gathering on the night of April 30, in the wake of the allegations. He called the media reports a “pre-planned attack” by certain news channels to assassinate his character and malign his image in the public. 

Welcoming the CM’s decision to order for the probe, Eatala said, “Let there be a probe by the Chief Secretary and DG. I also demand there should be a probe led by a sitting judge.” Amid speculations of his resignation in the near future, he also said, “This position is not greater than my self respect.”

When asked about any “vendetta” against him, Eatala asserted, “I fought when there was no one around, I will continue to fight. My history is known to people. It can not be effaced even if someone tries to do so.” He also accused media organisations of carrying “biased” reports, with the intention of damaging his reputation. 

According to IANS, eight residents of Achampet and Hakimpet villages in Masaipet mandal alleged that Eatala and his followers had taken over their lands to start a poultry industry. They sought intervention by the CM and appealed to him to ensure that the assigned lands given to them by the government be restored to them immediately. The victims told the Chief Minister that they were given assigned lands by the government in 1994. They alleged that the minister and his followers — Suri alias Alli Sudershan and Yamzala Sudershan Reddy — forcibly collected the land assignment certificates from them.

The land grab charge against a senior cabinet minister has sent shockwaves in political circles. This is the first time that a minister in the TRS government faced allegations of land grabbing and the victims directly approached the Chief Minister.

The Telangana Congress has termed the events a political conspiracy against Eatala, who belongs to the BC Mudiraj community. AICC (All India Congress Committee) National Spokesperson Dr Sravan Dasoju slammed CM K Chandrashekhar Rao, alleging that he was making the Health Minister a scapegoat, “to make up for his own failures in curtailing COVID-19 spread in Telangana.” Defending Eatala, Sravan Dasoju said that the CM was ignoring land grabbing by other TRS MLAs and was targeting Eatala, who represented the weaker sections of society. 

In the recent past, there have been several reports which claimed that there has been an unprecedented gap between CM K Chandrasekhar Rao and Minister Eatala. 

(With IANS inputs)

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