Paper leak puts BRS in political hot water

Update: 2023-03-22 07:32 GMT
BRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao addressing the BRS state executive meeting at Telangana Bhavan. (Photo: Twitter/@BRSparty)

Hyderabad: The question paper leak scandal that has jeopardized the job prospects of lakhs of youth in the state and put an incandescent spotlight on the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC), now is threatening to engulf the Bharat Rashtra Samithi-led government with it butting heads with the opposition BJP and Congress parties.

And with the Special Investigation Team (SIT), appointed by the state government to probe the leak, issuing summons to state Congress party president A. Revanth Reddy, and to BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar, the two parties which are already in a race to ‘own’ the issue, are only expected to step up their fight against the BRS party and its leaders.

While Revanth Reddy was issued summons on Monday, to appear before the SIT to present evidence of his claims of involvement of IT minister K.T. Rama Rao’s staff in the question paper leak, on Tuesday it was the turn of Sanjay to receive the summons, and for the same reason. In both cases, the SIT pasted summons at the doors of the residences of the two leaders in the city as they were away.

Revanth later said he will appear before the SIT and submit evidence he has. Sanjay did not react till late on Tuesday evening on the summons issued to him, and is expected to speak about it on Wednesday.

Sanjay, and the BJP, along with its students’ arm, the ABVP, were first off the block taking to the streets and demanding action against the TSPSC officials, including its chairman over the leaks. The BJP demands escalated with Sanjay seeking Rama Rao’s sacking from the Cabinet as the minister, as head of the IT Department, should be held responsible for the leaks. The BJP simultaneously demanded a probe by a sitting judge into the entire episode making it clear that it had no faith in the SIT.

Meanwhile, Revanth joined the issue declaring that Rama Rao’s personal assistant Tirupati Bandari was directly involved in the paper leaks and provided circumstantial evidence that Malyala mandal to which Tirupati, and accused no. 2 in the case A. Rajasekhar Reddy belonged to, had more than 100 Group I prelims exam takers score over 100 marks each. This, Revanth said, showed that the minister’s office was directly involved in the leaks and added his voice to the demand for Rama Rao’s resignation and a judicial probe.

The highly emotive nature of the question paper leaks, and the subsequent cancellation of four exams, including Group I prelims, could not have come at a better time for the two opposition parties that have been looking for fresh opportunities to slam down the state government, and the ruling BRS party. Leaders of both parties say that there is no question of letting this issue go. At stake are the bragging rights for fighting for the youth of the state, and if in the end it indeed gets proved that some in the highest levels of the government were involved in the question paper leaks, then both parties can claim credit for proving that they were right all along about how corrupt the BRS government is.

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