Minister’s followers launch a broadside against MP accusing him of cheating farmers

The war of words between Minister for Agriculture Kanna Lakshminarayana and MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao is turning bitter as the ruling party braces for elections to the local bodies. After the M.P.’s outburst against Kanna on Monday, his supporters hit back at Rayapati at a press conference here on Tuesday.

Ex-corporator Mutyala Rao, Congress youth leader Dasari Kiran and local Dalit leader Charwaka launched a broadside against Rayapati accusing him of cheating farmers. They alleged that the Guntur MP had become disappointed at being denied a berth in the Union Cabinet and hence had been venting out his frustration by heaping allegations against the Minister.

Put the record straight

They said that the Minister bought a plot in Nagarampalem after selling away the plot allotted to him at the MLAs colony in Hyderabad. Later, he constructed a house by taking a bank loan. The Minister had built his career in politics growing in the ranks of the party from his student days, they said. His perseverance with the Centre helped Guntur get a comprehensive drinking water project costing about Rs.470 crore, they said.

With signs of the turf war between the two heavyweights in the Congress likely to worsen, the local cadre continues to simmer. The latest trigger in the war of words seemed to be the decision of the Minister to call on veteran TDP leader Makineni Pedarathaiah at his house. Mr Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, who was upset, said that it was not proper for the Minister to invite an Opposition leader to join the ranks of the party at a time when it is getting ready to face the polls.