Under house arrest as TRS govt fears I will raise land auction graft in Parliament: state Congress chief

Congress leaders claim corruption in the e-auction of land which fetched the government nearly Rs 2,000 crore.

Telangana Congress chief A Revanth Reddy Tuesday said the state government had put him under house arrest because it feared that he would raise alleged corruption issues in Parliament.

Lok Sabha MP Reddy, along with MLAs Jayaprakash Reddy and Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and others, were detained by the police while going to Kokapet on the outskirts of Hyderabad where the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi government had recently held a land auction. Congress leaders claim corruption in the e-auction of land which fetched the government nearly Rs 2,000 crore.

“We had information that he was to proceed to Kokapet to hold a dharna and create a law and order situation that he was prevented (from doing),” said an official, who did not wish to be named.

Reddy said: “I was prevented from going to Parliament as the Chief Minister (K Chandrashekara Rao) fears that I will raise the issue of corruption in the state. They are afraid because they sold prime government land at less prices, and it is a big scam involving crores. The people who purchased the lands at throwaway prices are either relatives or known to TRS party leaders. I would have raised this issue in Parliament but they prevented me from going,’’

In the early hours of Monday morning, police arrived at Reddy’s house and prevented him from going out of the house. The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla that he was being kept under house arrest and not being allowed to go to Parliament.

The Monsoon session of the House began Monday.

The Telangana government had conducted the e-auction of eight plots measuring approximately 50 acres which were with the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority. The process was carried out through public sector firm MSTC Ltd.

The auction was opposed by activists who filed a petition in the Telangana High Court. The Telangana government informed the court that it wants to sell the land to overcome the revenue shortfall due to pandemic lockdown last year, and stated that the auction was being conducted online in a fair and transparent manner.

The High Court allowed the government to go ahead with the auction, and HMDA fixed a base price of Rs 25 crore per acre.

After the auction, however, Congress leaders claimed some of the people who purchased the lands were relatives of TRS party leaders.

“Manne Satyanarayana Reddy who owns MSN Laboratories successfully bid and purchased land. He is brother of TRS MP Manne Srinivas Reddy. A parcel of land was purchased by a realty group close to a district collector,’’ said AICC Spokesperson Daoju Sravan.

Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Arvind Kumar said the online auction was held in a fair and transparent manner and that only the highest bidders were able to purchase the land.

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