Reviving the ‘White Challenge’, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & MP A. Revanth Reddy on Monday asked IT Minister K. T. Rama Rao to come for a drug test as and when he is ready. He asked KTR to inform him just an hour in advance whenever he wishes to come to Telangana Martyrs’ Memorial, Gun Park to accept the ‘White Challenge’ and undergo a drug test together at Osmania General Hospital.
Revanth Reddy complimented former MP Konda Vishveshwar Redy for accepting the challenge. However, he said KTR got angry and started levelling personal allegations.
As part of the ‘White Challenge’ to undergo a drug test, Revanth Reddy, along with senior leaders and hundreds of workers, reached the Gun Park on Monday morning. Ex-MP Konda Vishweshwar Reddy also reached the Gun Park at scheduled time. However, Minister KTR did not reach the Gun Park and instead posted a series of Tweets apparently to escape the drug test.
The wait for KTR at Gun Park eventually turned into a dharn with Congress workers raising slogans against the TRS Government demanding action against the drug mafia.
Addressing the dharna, Revanth Reddy alleged that Akun Sabharwal, an IPS officer who headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into the drugs case, was transferred to shield the drug mafia and all those who were connected with it, directly and indirectly. He said that the SIT investigation led to shocking revelations and its report could have exposed several people. However, Akun Sabharwal was transferred to influence the investigation process. Further, the SIT report was made inaccessible even to the Central agencies who wanted to go deeper into case to take necessary action.
He said when he approached the High Court through a PIL seeking detailed probe and action against those involved in the drug cases, the Central agencies went on record to say that the SIT was not sharing information and they were not receiving the necessary information to take further action.
He said that the drug abuse in Telangana has reached an alarming proportion. He said that some officials who were involved with the probe revealed that drugs were being supplied to several pubs across Telangana State, especially Hyderabad. He said drugs were being supplied even to educational institutions and 13-14 year-old children were
Getting addicted to them. He said that the SIT findings were ignored by the State Government and no action was taken against those involved in such illegal activities.
Since the drug menace is an immediate threat to the entire society and future generations, Revanth Reddy said he approached the court seeking action against the drug mafia. When he again exposed that SIT was not sharing information with the Central agencies about their finding, KTR tried to dilute the issue by raising irrelevant questions. Therefore, he said that he posed a ‘White Challenge’ to KTR and also to Viveshwar Reddy. “I thought that KTR would reach Gun Park at least half-an-hour before my arrival, but he remained elusive for reasons known only to him,” he said.
Revanth Reddy ridiculed KTR for asking questions about his ancestors. Stating that he was ready for a separate debate on his and KTR’s ancestors at any given point of time, he asked KTR to explain the reason why he was afraid of undergoing a drug test. He said he was not asking for KTR’s assets, but only blood samples required for the test.
The TPCC Chief said that the ‘White Challenge’ initiative could bring a positive change in the society and awareness against drug abuse. All the public representatives, including KTR, must accept the challenge and tell the society that they neither consume the drug nor support its circulation. He said this would send a strong message against drug abuse across the country.
Revanth Reddy said today KTR wants the drug test to be conducted in Delhi. Tomorrow, he might ask Ivanka Trump to accompany him for the test. He asked why KTR was getting worried when the investigating agencies were summoning film stars for questioning into drug cases.
The TPCC Chief said that the rise in drug abuse was responsible for the increase in crime rate, especially in Hyderabad. He said that the accused in rape and murder of a six-year-old girl in Singareni Colony committed the heinous and brutal crime under the influence of drugs. He said KTR had taken the responsibility of development of Saidabad and surrounding areas. However, he failed to stop the sale of drugs and Ganja in the area which consequently resulted in the rape and murder of a innocent minor girl. Similarly, the drugs were primarily responsible for the commitment of several other crimes in the society. He said that the spread of drug abuse poses a threat to the safety of women in Telangana.
Revanth Reddy said that the previous Congress Government had permitted only six pubs in 5-star hotels. However, the TRS Govt permitted 60 pubs in the last seven years. He said most of the pubs were being owned and operated by the kin of ministers and ruling party leaders. He said Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao should go on surprise visits during night time on weekends to check how anti-social activities were ruining the society. He said the younger generation was getting marooned in liquor, Ganja, Charas and other drugs.
The TPCC Chief ridiculed KTR’s threat of filing a case against him and said that the Public Interest Litigation on the drug case which he filed in 2017 was still pending in the court.
Speaking on the occasion, Konda Vishweshwar Reddy said that KTR should have accepted the ‘White Challenge’ instead of making it an ego issue. He said drug free society was essential to prevent the rising crime rate. He said it should be mandatory for every candidate to undergo drug tests to contest any election. He said KTR should not drag the name of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi into this issue as it was concerned with Telangana State. He gave a ‘White Challenge’ to BJP State president Bandi Sanjay and BSP leader R.S. Praveen Kumar.
Addressing the dharn, former minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir called Minister KTR as ‘bhagoda’, a coward who ran away from a simple challenge of undergoing a medical test to check whether or not he consumes drugs. He said that he was ready for the ‘White Challenge’ at any point and advised that all politicians must exhibit their resolve against drug abuse.
Other senior leaders also addressed the dharna which witnessed huge participation of Congress workers.