Similar amounts were sanctioned to various districts for improving urban infrastructure during Mr. Jaipal Reddy’s tenure.

Backward Classes Welfare Minister Basvaraju Saraiah strongly defended Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy claiming that the latter had released huge amounts for development of different districts as long as he was holding the Urban Development portfolio.

Responding to queries at a press conference here on Monday, the Minister recalled several works launched in his native Warangal district after Mr. Jaipal Reddy allocated Rs. 170 crore. Similar amounts were sanctioned to various districts for improving urban infrastructure during Mr. Jaipal Reddy’s tenure.

The Minister’s comments come in the light of criticism mounted against Mr. Jaipal Reddy by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and his loyalists over his “failure” to protect State’s interests in allocation of KG basin gas. Mr. Saraiah said it was not proper for the party leaders including Government Whip T. Jayaprakash Reddy to criticise Mr. Jaipal Reddy. Asked about the CMO release blaming the Union Minister, Mr. Saraiah said he was not aware of any such letter.

Referring to the dharna launched by YSR Congress honorary president Y.S. Vijayalakshmi at Eluru, Mr. Saraiah requested her not to use students’ issues to secure political mileage.

Meanwhile, former Minister P. Shankar Rao launched a broadside against the Chief Minister alleging that he was ‘bent’ on distancing Dalits, intellectuals and other sections from the party.