Former Telangana health minister Eatala Rajender joined the BJP on Monday in the presence of Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan. He was sacked from the state cabinet by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao over land grabbing charges.
Rajender has already tendered his resignation as the Huzurabad MLA and has also relinquished his membership of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Welcoming him into the party, Pradhan said the BJP would form the government in Telangana after the next assembly elections.
In a letter addressed to the speaker on Saturday, the former minister tendered his resignation as Huzurabad MLA with immediate effect. He had resigned from the party last week, ending his 19-year-old affiliation with the TRS.
On Friday, a team of senior BJP leaders including Telangana affairs in-charge Tarun Chug visited Eatala’s residence.
Eatala Rajender was a founder member of TRS, playing a key role in the Telangana statehood movement. He served as the state's Finance Minister during TRS Supremo K Chandrashekhar Rao's (KCR) first term as the Chief Minister and was also allocated the Health Ministry in 2019.
Land grabbing allegations
Eatala Rajender has been accused of land grabbing by farmers in the Achampeta and Hakimpet villages in Medak district, leading to his ouster from the Telangana cabinet. The Jamuna Hatcheries Private Limited, owned by Rajender's family, has been accused of encroaching on 66 acres of assigned land. Also, the Jamuna Hatcheries Private Limited allegedly constructed huge poultry shed, platforms and structures without obtaining non-agriculture land conversion proceedings as per the Telangana Non-Agriculture Land Conversion Act, 2006.
KCR directed an enquiry into the allegations by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and Vigilance DGP Poornachander Rao and sacked Rajender from the Cabinet on May 2. A day later, the state government formed a three-member panel led by Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Commissioner M Raghunandan Rao to inquire into the allegations of land-grabbing charges. Rajender was approached by several parties including Congress, BJP and Telangana Jana Samithi, after his fallout from TRS.