A month after he was dropped from the Cabinet on May 2 over allegations of land encroachments, former health minister Etala Rajendar on Friday resigned from the primary membership of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). He said he would quit his seat in the Legislative Assembly on Saturday, necessitating yet another bypoll in the state within six months.
Addressing a press conference at his Shamirpet residence, Rajendar maintained silence on joining the BJP saying that he would disclose his future course of action very soon. He said he would submit his resignation as MLA to the Speaker in the 'prescribed format' as per regulations on Saturday.
However, after the press meet, speaking informally with media personnel, he said that after the lockdown, he wanted to visit Delhi along with his key followers to join the BJP.
Rajendar, a six-time MLA from Huzurabad, said he had decided to end his 19 year-long association with the TRS and its chief K. Chandrashekar Rao for his self-respect and made it clear that he could not remain as a slave for the sake of a minister post.
"I have resigned as MLA two times earlier during the Telangana agitation on the direction of the party for the state’s self-respect. I am resigning again today for self-respect because I can't continue as a slave," he said.
He slammed the Chief Minister for sacking him without even seeking his explanation regarding the allegations against him and his family. Stating that the gap between him and Chandrashekar Rao developed five years ago, he asked the Chief Minister whether a minister could be removed from office based on an anonymous petition.
Rajendar alleged that the Chief Minister had humiliated him by denying him an appointment on many occasions and was sent back along with ministers and MLAs from the gates of Pragathi Bhavan and the farmhouse.
He alleged that the TRS chief who used to believe in righteousness and the people during the Telangana movement was now relying on money, conspiracies and was crushing opponents.
"Many leaders were sent out of the party through conspiracies. Is there any minister in the state Cabinet or any officer in the government who is working independently? Even Harish Rao faced several humiliations. All my previous colleagues in the TRS may now condemn my comments but they all know what the truth is," he said.
Rajendar said he won the election whenever the party fielded him as its candidate. He also claimed that he got the ministerial berth due to his hard work. Terming the Pragathi Bhavan as a camp of slaves, he suggested renaming it "Slaves Bhavan ' adding that there was not a single IAS officer in CMO belonging to the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe or Backward Classes communities.
Some followers of Rajendar including former MLA E. Ravinder Reddy and former zilla parishad chairperson of Karimnagar Tula Uma also resigned from the TRS.
Rajendar alleged that Chandrashekar Rao became a 'dictator' after becoming Chief Minister and his decisions on the closure of Dharna Chowk, suppression of trade unions and strikes like the one in the TRSRTC, making Harish Rao and K. Kavitha quit from the TSRTC and Singareni Union activities etc were ample proof of his mindset.
He said the TRS was now functioning like ‘Andharwala bahar, baharwala andhar’ as several anti-Telangana leaders who had humiliated the Telangana agitation in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh had now entered the party.
Rajendar questioned the need for the Chief Minister to engineer defections in other parties even after the TRS getting a majority of 90 seats in Assembly out of 119. He alleged that the TRS spent Rs 50 crore in Huzurabad since he was dropped from the Cabinet last month to lure his supporters....