Telangana: BRS MLA in a pickle as daughter accuses him of land encroachment
A ruling party MLA in Telangana, who in the past has been accused of grabbing land, is now facing the wrath of none other than his own daughter, who has accused her father of doing the crime in her name.
Sources say the enormous political clout that MLAs of the ruling party enjoy in Telangana makes some of them use it for their personal benefit, land encroachment being one of them.
While many of these cases go unnoticed, Muthireddy Yadagiri Reddy, a BRS legislator from Jangaon, an assembly segment about 100 km from Hyderabad, has come under the scanner after his own daughter accused him of land grabbing.
Father forged my signature to register land, alleges daughter
Sources say, 70-year-old Reddy, a two-time MLA attained notoriety for land grabbing in his first term itself which began in 2014. No MLA has ever faced an open revolt against land grabbing like Reddy from people, activists, sarpanches, the Collector and finally his own daughter – for a second time.
His daughter Thulja Bhavani Reddy has publicly called her father a land grabber. She has also threatened to file a case against him.
The father-daughter confrontation took place on Monday at a state function. The video of the daughter questioning her father on how a land got registered in her name without her knowledge with her forged signature has gone viral.
Reddy’s critics allege that he has the habit of encroaching land and getting it registered in his daughter’s name. The alleged practice surfaced for the first time when the daughter filed a case against her father in Hyderabad’s Uppal police station.
Bhavani alleged that her father had encroached on a parcel of land measuring 159 square yards in Nacharam in Hyderabad, and got it registered in her name by forging her signatures. She said in the complaint that the land was leased to Canara Bank. She urged the police to book a case against her father for cheating and land grabbing.
It was not the first time Reddy faced the charge of land grabbing. In 2017, then district Collector Sri Devasena accused him of encroaching the land near a lake on the outskirts of Jangaon town.
The collector and the MLA had a heated argument over the charge. The collector brought this to the notice of the government. Result: within months, she was shifted out of Jangaon district.
The party rewarded Reddy with renomination as the BRS (then TRS) candidate from the same constituency. He won the election.
It has been alleged that MLAs and influential local satraps of the ruling party choose tank or lake lands for encroachment with the connivance of revenue and police officials. It is easy to grab these lands as there are no claimants to oppose it.
According to Collector Sri Devasena, the MLA had encroached about 2,000 square yards of land of Dharmoni Kunta lake and was trying to grab more land. The allegation created a furore in the state.
The collector allegedly faced threats and abuses from the MLA’s men. The matter subsided after the government transferred the official to Peddapalli district.
Sources say, many a time, locals and activists have called out Reddy’s alleged illegalities.
Now, the MLA’s daughter alleges that she had not purchased the 1,200 square yard land in Cheryal of Siddipet district that has been registered in her name by her father. She said her father encroached the land and got it registered on her name by forging her signature.
She made the accusation against her father in a meeting organized in connection with a tree plantation programme in a village near Jangaon. She came to the event with her husband Rahul Reddy and warned him that she was going to file a case against him.
Ignoring the pleas of her father to not to be misled by his opponents, she left the venue in a huff and in tears.
Later, talking to the media, Reddy said his daughter was innocent and was being used as a pawn by his opponents. “The properties registered in her name in Cherial and Jangaon have been legally purchased and registered in her name in her presence. How could it become encroachment?” he said.
According to the local media, Bhavani took the extreme step, vexed by the cases filed against her possession of the land. She has been attending Lokayukta hearings for years. Unable to put up with the unending trial, she came open on the status of the land and how it got registered in her name.
Congress senior vice president Dr Mallu Ravi demanded a thorough enquiry into the land grabbing charges made by Reddy’s daughter. “Since the accusation has come from none other than his own daughter, it needs a thorough inquiry,” Mallu said.
The Opposition questioned how Reddy, who hails from a middle class family, has grown to be super rich.
Talking about the MLA’s activities, CPI(M) Jangaon district secretary Moku Kanakareddy said the entire government machinery had been shielding the MLA in land grabbing cases.
Kanakareddy, who has been at the forefront of agitations against the MLA and his men, said while police book cases against all those who question his activities, the MLA’s henchmen physically attack the protesters.
“Last week when we were protesting against an illegal occupation of government lands near Bachhannapet, the police foisted cases against 71 people. A few were booked under SC/ST Act. So, people have no option but to watch what is going on in the district. It is Muthireddy’s write that runs in Jangaon,” the Marxist leader added.