Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has demanded a probe by the income-tax department into the funds raised by the state’s ruling party TRS through a programme called ‘Gulabi Coolie’, wherein party leaders worked in commercial establishments to raise money.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Mr Reddy said, “The so-called drive of ‘Gulabi Coolie’ is nothing but a shield to hide extortion from all businessmen in the name of holding a purposeless public meeting at Warangal. TRS leaders are allegedly extorting huge money from businessmen, and to dilute this illegal activity, some top leaders are working at some places to raise funds.”
The Congress leader said that it was being insane to believe that minister K.T, Rama Rao earned Rs 7 lakh by selling ice-creams; health minister Lakshma Reddy got Rs 5 lakh by working as an attender for an hour in a corporate hospital and Deputy Chief Min-ister Kadiyam Srihari earned Rs 2 lakh for half-an-hour lecture in a private college.
Mr Reddy said the Congress has received several complaints from the business community stating that they were harassed by TRS leaders who demanded exorbitant amounts for their party’s plenary and public meeting.
The TPCC chief asked whether the ministers and other top TRS leaders paid income-tax on their new ‘earnings’. He said the CM himself had said that the party wo-uld raise about Rs 30 crore for the public meeting.
He said that the IT department should collect all details of funds raised by the TRS leaders and make them pay the taxes.
Mr Reddy said, “The raised funds were not in the form of any donation and have been shown as direct earning. Therefore, no tax exemption should be given to any individual/firm.” He also demanded a probe into the firms/individuals who paid huge sums as a ‘remuneration’ to the TRS leaders.
He said top TRS leaders did not ‘earn’ anything by working hard, but they enacted small roles of a vendor, salesman, labourer or attender. “Therefore, the TRS leaders did not earn anything by working, but raised funds by way of acting,” he alleged....