Hyderabad: Health minister Etala Rajendar is in serious trouble with prospects of his losing his job for leaking confidential information to a select group of revenue officers with utter indiscretion.
As news spread about this leak, several speculations have been triggered in the TRS.
During the collectors’ meeting, Mr Rao, who was emphatic on bringing of the new Act to weed out corruption from the department, had categorically told participants not to reveal any of the deliberations of the meeting.
After failing to get any information of the proceedings of the meeting from other sources, an office-bearer of the revenue employees association met Mr Rajendar and was able to elicit the information. Revenue employees were apprehensive about the possible scrapping of the department, or its merger with panchayat raj or another department.
Sources in the TRS said that the Chief Minister sought inputs from the intelligence department to confirm what the minister discussed with revenue employees.
Intelligence officials confirmed to Mr Rao that the minister purportedly discussed the proposed provisions under the new Act, especially those which are stringent in nature, against erring employees and the changes to be brought out in the department.The sources said that Mr Rao also secured intelligence that revenue employee discussed launching of an agitation against the government with minister Rajendar. With the intelligence inputs confirming these reports, an upset Mr Rao is said to have decided to axe the health minister.
TRS leaders said that Mr Rao was not keen to take Rajendar into his Cabinet in the first place, but he changed his mind at the last minute because he belonged to the prominent Mudiraj community, one of the big backward communities in the state, besides his role during the Telan-gana agitation. Sources said that this time, however, Mr Rao has taken a firm decision.
Meanwhile, in a desperate act of damage control, office bearers of the Telangana Deputy Colle-ctors Association, Tahs-ildars Association, Reve-nue Services Employees Association and associations of village revenue officers and revenue assistants clarified they did not discuss anything confidential with the minister. Mr Rajendar himself has not responded about the subject and remained tight-lipped.
Mr V. Latchireddy, Mr V. Ravinder Reddy and Mr K. Gotham Kumar, leaders of the revenue employees and officers assocation, said some members had met the health minister to seek his help towards treatment of the son of a colleague, but vested interests had spread lies. They said that were planning to meet collectors to discuss the proposed new Act on a later date.
As the controversy raged, village revenue officers welfare association said on Sunday that it would soon hold a convention to save the revenue department as the government was planning to abolish the VRO system.
Association president G. Upender Rao said that they would meet the special chief secretary (revenue) on Monday before deciding their future course of agitation to stall the move of the government to abolish or merger of the revenue department.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had recently held a meeting with collectors, including ministers, to elicit their views on the proposed Revenue Act, expecting total confidentiality from everyone. It is likely the proposed new Revenue Act, aimed at eliminating corruption in land administration, was discussed at length.
In this background, office bearers of the revenue officers association met Mr Rajen-dar afterwards to find out what transpired in the collectors’ mee-ting. He shared information given of the proceeding of CM’s meet with the collectors. Now, revenue officers, with whom he shared this information, have dragged Mr Rajendar into deep trouble.
With further leaking of information from this meeting between the minister and revenue officers, sources say the Chief Minister is said to have taken a very serious view of this and has made up his mind to fire him.