The petitioner had questioned the allotment of land worth around Rs 5 crore per acre to the director for Rs 5 lakh per acre.
The Telangana High Court has set aside the election of Vanam Venkateshwar Rao, the legislator of Kothagudem Assembly constituency, on the grounds that he did not disclose his full details in the election affidavit and ruled his nearest rival Jalagam Venkat Rao be declared as elected from the same seat.
Vanam Venkateshwar Rao was a Congress candidate who defeated the BRS candidate Jalagam Venkat Rao in 2018 Assembly elections but soon defected to the BRS. Hence the high court judgement that came after four years would not make much difference as the seat will remain with the BRS.
Jalagam Venkat Rao, son of former chief minister of unified Andhra Pradesh Jalagam Vengala Rao and former MLA of Kothagudem had filed a plea in 2019 challenging the election of Venkateshwar Rao on the ground that he had not disclosed the complete details of the property held by him along with his wife in the Form 26 to the Election Commission mandated under Section 125 A of Representation of People’s Act. The single bench judge Justice G Radha Rani of Telangana High Court gave the landmark judgement and also imposed a fine of Rs five lakh on Venkateshwar Rao.
Soon after the election, 12 Congress MLAs including Venkateshwar Rao had joined the BRS. Since they constituted two-thirds of the legislative party it did not attract the provisions of anti defection law and the Speaker of Telangana Assembly ruled it as a merger.
However, most of the Congress turned BRS MLAs may find it difficult to get a ticket this time from the ruling party since surveys show their performances have not been up to the mark.