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Telangana leaders for resignation of Ponnala

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Senior Congress leaders from Telangana are on the offensive against their own party and the government by raking up the issue of large-scale corruption in the Jalayagnam programme ahead of the by-elections to 12 Assembly seats in the region.

Even as there are strong signals from the Central leadership on fighting the by polls, party seniors, who earlier opposed contesting the elections, changed their tack by bringing to the fore allegations of corruption in irrigation projects and seeking the resignation of Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah. Leaders from the other regions see this as ploy to deflect from the demand of those like Anantapur MP, Ananta Venkata Rami Reddy to highlight the development plank during the by-elections. In New Delhi, APCC president D. Srinivas said it was not proper to raise the issue of corruption in Jalayagnam while Panchayat Raj Minister Botcha Satyanarayana said that late Rajasekhara Reddy was also targeted in a similar fashion. However, Telangana leaders were unrelenting on Tuesday also, as they decided to approach the Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan with a complaint about corruption in Jalayagnam.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Lakshmaiah said, “The contracts and estimates are not decided by one individual.” He dismissed charges that the estimates were enhanced and wanted his critics to compare the unit rates in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

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