Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president and MP A. Revanth Reddy said the decision of TRS MPs to boycott the Parliament for the remainder of the winter session had nothing to do with paddy farmers. It was done to prevent an inquiry against minister K.T Rama Rao by the Enforcement Directorate into an alleged Rs. 3,000 crore land allotment scam, he alleged.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday, Revanth said he had already predicted on Monday that the TRS MPs would stop their "so-called protest" in the Parliament on the paddy procurement issue from Tuesday and return home. "The 'boycott' was part of a TRS-BJP deal wherein TRS MPs enacted the drama of protest for a week to prevent other Opposition parties from having a discussion on farm bills and other important issues. Although the winter session will last till 23 December, TRS MPs have packed their bags for Hyderabad following directions from Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao who got orders from Prime Minister Narender Modi. The entire drama in the name of paddy farmers was jointly enacted by TRS and BJP using Parliament as a stage," he said.
Revanth said a foreign company was allotted some land on the outskirts of Hyderabad about 15 years ago in the undivided Andhra Pradesh. The allotment was done for an amount of Rs. 450 crore by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) through an open auction. However, after the formation of Telangana, one realtor, who also owns a TV channel, and an irrigation contractor, who are very close to CM KCR, forced the foreign company to sell the allotted land to them for about Rs. 300 crore. KTR, as the municipal administration and urban development minister, signed the file allowing the transfer of land from the foreign firm to the companies owned by a realtor and contractor who are closely associated with KCR's family, the TPCC chief said.
He said the present value of the allotted land was nearly Rs. 3,000 crore. Further, the state government was empowered to take back the allotted lands if a company fails to start its operation. But it cannot facilitate the transfer of land from one company to another for whatever reasons. However, KTR transferred the lands while indulging in a Rs. 3,000 crore scam, Revanth alleged.
The TPCC chief claimed that the Enforcement Directorate had already served notices to the realtor and contractor in this matter. The ED had also prepared the ground to serve notice to KTR. At the last minute, KCR entered the scene and struck a deal with the BJP government at the Centre. As part of the 'quid pro quo', the case was amended from the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). While action under PMLA necessitated criminal proceedings and arrest, punishment under FEMA is confined to fine, Revanth pointed out and challenged KTR to prove his allegations wrong.
"While favouring KTR, BJP directed the TRS MPs to disrupt the proceedings of the Parliament for the first few days and now they've been asked to leave New Delhi. By stalling the proceedings, TRS MPs prevented the other Opposition parties from forcing the BJP government for a debate on the repeal of farm bills, demand Rs. 25 lakh compensation for farmers who died during the agitation, and also pay respect in the Parliament to the martyrs," he said.
Revanth said KCR, who had announced waging a war against the BJP government, is comfortably sleeping at his farmhouse after enjoying a peg. "Nothing has been done for the paddy farmers by the TRS government. Lakhs of farmers are still waiting in their yarns and procurement centres with huge piles of unsold paddy. At least four-five farmers are committing suicide or dying while waiting to sell their produce. KCR has become so insensitive that instead of fighting for paddy farmers, he is using non-procurement of paddy to make deals with the BJP to shield his scamster son," he alleged.
Revanth said the people have elected TRS MPs to raise their voice in Parliament. "Of the four crore population, at least three crore people in Telangana are associated with agriculture. They have sent TRS MPs to Delhi to fight for their rights. But KCR and TRS MPs have sold out the farmers' interest before PM Modi for personal gains. When these MPs return to 'gallis' from 'Delhi' people should greet them with eggs, stones and sticks for their failures," he said.
He added, "While declaring a war against the BJP government, KCR claimed that he was not afraid of the CBI, ED, or other Central agencies. KCR should now explain why he directed his party MPs to boycott the Parliament and how he plans to fight against the BJP in 'Galli' instead of 'Delhi'? How can the TRS MPs extract an assurance from the Centre on the paddy procurement by returning to Hyderabad? With what face you will go to the people who voted for you in the last elections. If TRS MPs are so helpless in fighting against the BJP in the Parliament, then they should resign from their posts."
When asked for his reaction to Union minister G. Kishan Reddy's allegation that TRS was acting as B-team of Congress, Revanth ridiculed his statement. "If TRS has aligned with the Congress, then why is the BJP government shielding KTR and not asking the Enforcement Directorate to probe into the Rs. 3,000 crore land scam? Union agriculture minister Piyush Goyal admitted on the floor of Rajya Sabha that 25,000 MT rice was stolen from an FCI godown in Warangal. This means lakhs of tonnes of rice must have been stolen from other FCI godowns across Telangana. Why is the BJP government not ordering a CBI probe into these irregularities?" he asked.
Revanth said nearly 18 Opposition parties have been fighting against the BJP government on farm laws and other issues. But only TRS MPs disrupted the proceedings to sabotage the action plan of all other Opposition parties.
"Union ministers Kishan Reddy and also Piyush Goyal are admitting that TRS leaders are robbers. But they are not ordering a CBI inquiry against their irregularities," he said.
The TPCC chief reiterated the allegation that KCR's family has amassed so much illegal wealth that they are now richer than the descendants of the Nizam.