Rice procurement, ticketing, fly ash, liquor: BRS’ list of ‘scams’ against Congress government

Interestingly, the BRS accuses Congress of committing financial misdemeanours to make hay while the sun shines.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jul 03, 2024 | 9:00 AM Updated Jul 03, 2024 | 9:00 AM

Telangana government leaders, including Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy, present Indiramma House pattas to women on Monday, 11 March, 2024.

With the BRS embroiled in corruption allegations against its erstwhile Telangana government, the ball now seems to be in the court of the pink party with allegations of scams against the incumbent Congress regime.

Interestingly, the BRS accuses Congress of committing financial misdemeanours to make hay while the sun shines.

Notwithstanding the Congress’s trenchant attack on the BRS for various scams when it was in power, the BRS has been launching a counter-offensive against the state government for what it calls perpetrating a string of scams for monetary considerations.

BRS working president KT Rama Rao (KTR) demanded an inquiry into the scams by a sitting judge adding that if there was no response, the party would be forced to move against the government legally.

Also Read: Telangana HC dismisses KCR’s petition to scrap Justice Reddy Commission

Rice procurement scam

In May, the one scam that the BRS went to town with was the one in which the Congress is alleged to have resorted to irregularities of over ₹1,100 crore in the sale of paddy and purchase of fine rice.

KTR demanded that the state government cancel the tenders and wanted the Enforcement Directorate (ED) the CBI and the vigilance department to inquire into the irregularities.

He also alleged the involvement of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and senior Congress leaders from Delhi and said the state remained callous to the demand for an investigation.

KTR said Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy and Civil Supplies Minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy remained silent on the issue which was giving rise to suspicion.

“The scam involved calling global tenders for the sale of 35 lakh tonnes of paddy and the purchase of 2.2 lakh tonnes of fine rice for residential welfare hostels. In both instances, a scam of about ₹1,100 crore took place,” BRS alleged.

The BRS said that a committee was appointed on 25 January, and the same day, guidelines were released and tenders were called, in which “corruption stank for miles”.

The alleged corruption

KTR said that the local rice millers offered to buy paddy at ₹2,100 per quintal but the government changed the criteria for eligibility and then global tenders were called.

Those who got the work included Kendriya Bhandar, LG Industries, Hindustan Company, and Naqaf even though they quoted prices between ₹1,885 and ₹2,007 per quintal which were lower by ₹93 to ₹200 in the local market, he claimed.

He said that after winning the tenders, the companies began extorting money from rice millers.

The allegation was that they demanded ₹2,230 per quintal, citing the need for them to make payments to Delhi leaders and to fund the party’s election expenditure.

The BRS accused these companies used arm-twisting methods, including threatening to make the Vigilance and Civil Supplies departments conduct raids on them if they did not fall in line.

He further alleged that the companies collected ₹700 crore from millers by imposing an additional levy.

KTR also alleged that a ₹300 crore scam took place in the purchase of 2.2 lakh tonnes of fine rice meant for welfare hostels.

He came down on the government for purchasing rice at ₹57 per kg when it could be procured locally at ₹35 per kg from the millers.

Together, they amounted to ₹1,100 crore, he said.

Also Read: TGSRTC dismisses BRS claims of corruption in tender process


BRS leader Manne Krishank alleged that the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TGSRTC) was involved in a scam while awarding the project of digital ticket vending and intelligent ticket issuing machines.

According to him, the tender process for the procurement of ticket vending machines was kept under wraps.

The notice calling tenders was not even posted on the TGSRTC website, he argued.

He alleged that the Congress government, after cancelling the tenders initiated by the previous BRS government went for offline tender in January this year.

Before calling the tenders, the management changed the rules so that the tender would go to a company of its choice — Chalo Mobility. A commission would directly go to the company for every ticket issued by the RTC.

He said that about 52 lakh tickets are being issued on a daily average and taking into account the sale of tickets for 365 days a year for years, the commission would run into crores.

Krishank demanded an answer from Minister for Transport Ponnam Prabhakar.

Fly ash scam

For a few days in the recent past, the BRS cried foul that corruption took place in the transportation of fly ash from the Ramagundam thermal plant of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

The BRS accused Transport Minister Ponnam Prabhakar of being involved in the scam.

According to BRS legislators from Karimnagar, lorries transported 73 tonnes of fly ash each but the records showed that they carried only 32 tonnes per truck.

They said that about ₹50 lakh was siphoned off daily by allowing excess fly ash transportation, which runs into crores of rupees.

Also Read: Telangana CM Revanth Reddy gears up for cabinet expansion

Liquor scam

In what has turned out to be Telangana’s liquor scam, Krishank alleged that the Congress government was indulging in giving approvals to companies of questionable credentials for supplying liquor to Telangana.

The BRS leader said Som Distilleries and Breweries Limited in Madhya Pradesh had communicated to the National Stock Exchange that it had received approval from the Telangana government to sell its beer brands in the state.

He alleged that Som Distilleries had Congress connections.

Krishank said that Som Distilleries had given a donation of ₹1.3 crore through IndusInd Bank to Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in 2019-2020.

The company also paid ₹25 lakh as a donation to the Congress on another occasion, he claimed.

Krishank said that Som Distilleries had released a liquor into the market whose consumption led to the death of 24 people in 1999.

“The MP government sealed the company then. The Congress government in Telangana gave permission now to the same company because it is getting donations from it,” he said.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)

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