Former Telangana health minister Etela Rajender resigned from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Friday. Rajender, who was sacked and dropped from the Cabinet on May 1, over allegations of land grabbing in Medak district, said that he was unfairly targeted by the party.
”Based on an anonymous letter, an inquiry was started against me and I was removed as minister within a few hours. Even before the inquiry was over, I was dropped from the Cabinet. There were baseless allegations. Without even informing me or giving me a chance to explain and debunk the allegations, I was removed,’’ he said.
Rajender will submit his resignation as MLA from Huzurabad to the Speaker Saturday.
Rajender returned Thursday evening after a three-day visit to New Delhi where he met BJP chief J P Nadda. He is likely to join the BJP shortly.
The former minister was divested off this portfolio over allegations that Jamuna Hatcheries which is owned by his family grabbed land from a few owners on the outskirts of Achampet in Masaipet Mandal in Medak district. An inquiry report submitted by the Medak District Collector found that Jamuna Hatcheries had acquired land from assigned land owners by entering into agreements with them. Assigned lands, given to SCs and STs, cannot be sold or transferred.
Rajender is a four-time MLA and belongs to the strong Mudiraj community.
The Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu issued an order on Thursday bringing all the seven sub-sects of Scheduled Castes under one common name — Devendrakula Velalar.
The six sub-castes Devendrakulathan, Kadaiyan (excluding those in the coastal areas of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram, Pudukkotai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts), Kalladi, Kudumban, Pallan, Pannadi and Vathiriyan have been given the generic title.
The change in nomenclature was a long pending demand of certain sectors of the SC community. During the regime of Edappadi K Palaniswami of AIADMK, the government set up a committee to address the demand of a section of the community. The Committee in November 2020 recommended to the state government that all seven sub sects can be grouped together and assigned a common nomenclature ‘Devendrakula Velalar’. Also, the committee suggested that the community continue in the Scheduled caste category taking their socio-economic condition into account. Based on the recommendation of the state government, the law was enacted by the parliament in March. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to it in April, and it came into force on May 15.