TRS leader Etala Rajender, who was recently removed from the post of Health Minister
, today surrendered his convoy and the bullet-proof vehicle allotted to him as a minister, and kept only two gunmen in his current capacity as an MLA.
After being dismissed from the state Cabinet following allegations of land grabbing, he left for Huzurabad, his constituency, this afternoon.
The former minister will reportedly be holding discussions and consultations with his supporters over the coming days to decide his future course of action. He is likely also to take important calls on his current position, including on whether to continue as an MLA, whether to quit the TRS altogether, and whether to float a new party.
In the meantime, Rajender has already made clear the fact that there is barely any possibility of reconciliation between him and his political guru, TRS supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao.
Saying that his self-respect mattered more to him than anything else, he said that he was not scared of the number of cases filed against him by the CM on various charges and that he was even prepared to go to jail.
The leader made these remarks while addressing the media at his Shamirpet residence.
Amidst thunderous cheering from his supporters, he told the media, "I am an ordinary citizen and am wondering why the CM has targeted me in this manner. A false campaign is being carried out against me to make sure that the entire population of Telangana begins to hate me. But I am prepared to lose all that I have has earned in my life. I am a fighter, and am not scared of KCR! I am prepared to lose everything in my fight against him. After all, I came into this life with nothing and will leave it without anything."
Talking about his relationship with Telangana's ruling party, Rajender added, "I have been accused of usurping thousands of acres of land and committing several irregularities. I have worked with the CM for 19 years. In fact, it was he who had given me a break by making me the floor leader of the TRS. I have never and would never do anything to bring any kind of disrepute to my party. Today, when I am the victim of KCR's vendetta politics, I would like to warn him that the people of the state will not appreciate this witch-hunt that has been launched against me. I realise that the CM has all kinds of resources at his disposal with which to frame me easily in a hundred different kinds of cases. Even right now, the authorities concerned have submitted a false report stating that I have encroached upon 66 acres of government-assigned land. All I want is that the CM engage an independent and unbiased organisation to look into the accusations levelled against me. Lying officials like the Medak Collector are prejudiced against me."
Many in the state have already been questioning the political wisdom behind the CM's decision to sack Rajender from his post as this is bound to anger the powerful Mudiraj community to which Rajender belongs.