Former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayana Rao on Wednesday said allegations against him over allocation of coal blocks were ‘baseless’, breaking his silence a day after sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation searched his residence and other premises.
On Tuesday, CBI sleuths spent over 10 hours searching his residence and offices of Siri Media and Saubhagya Media for evidence pertaining to investments into the latter by Jindal Power and Steel Limited, in what was considered ‘quid pro quo’ over allocations of six coal blocks.
The film producer-turned-politician issued a press release terming the allegations baseless. Saying that events were happening in a planned manner, he said he was confident that truth would prevail, in the matter pertaining to allocation of coal blocks between 2006-09, during his tenure as Union Minister of State for Coal.
“I am not a ‘Boggula puli’ (coal tiger), but a ‘Bobbili’ puli (tiger)”, he said in a brief statement released late on afternoon, alluding to his hit film ‘Bobbili Puli,’ a Telugu fantasy film starring the legendary N.T. Rama Rao and Sridevi that he produced and directed in 1982.
A star in his own right
Since Tuesday morning, CBI sleuths searched his residence on Road No. 45, Jubilee Hills and the offices of Saubhagya Media and Siri Media that were alleged to have received investments ‘quid pro quo’, also questioning the former Union Minister over coal blocks allocation and seized documents pertaining to the investments.
Mr. Dasari Narayana Rao, in a film career spanning four decades, he has directed 150 films, produced over 50 and acted in about 60 films. He is also known as a crusader for the cause of industry workers across the 24 trades of the industry.
He has served as president of the Telugu Film Producers’ Council and the Telugu Film Directors’ Association, apart from also heading the South Indian Film Chamber for one term.
His career as a director started in 1972 with the runaway success ‘Thatha Manavadu ’ starring S.V. Ranga Rao, Kaikala Satyanarayana, Raja Babu and Vijayanirmala. His 150th film as director was ‘Parama Veera Chakra’ with Nandamuri Balakrishna in the lead.