Minister forces authorities to shut down exam centre at government college for his son's wedding attended by 50,000 guestsBy A. Srinivasa Rao
Minister Rao allegedly forced authorities to cancel an exam to hold his son's wedding in the facility
In this country, a lot of perks come with being a politician. Using one's position to flout rules is just one aspect of it.
Talking about the abuse of power, an Andhra Pradesh minister allegedly forced the authorities of his native Srikakulam district to cancel the examination centre at a government college so that his son's wedding could be held there.
Minister for roads and buildings, Dharmana Prasada Rao, threw a huge party for his friends and relatives on the occasion of son Ram Manohar Naidu's wedding reception at the sprawling Government Degree College premises and adjacent cricket stadium in Srikakulam on Sunday.
Nearly 50,000 guests attended the party. Amid the festivities, it was the candidates who had to suffer.
With the college out of bounds, they had to travel long distances to appear for the competitive exam to fill up positions for village revenue officers (VRO) and village revenue assistants (VRA), which was held all over the state on the same day.
The officials of the revenue department and municipality allegedly went out of their way to make arrangements for the function.
The compound wall of the college was demolished to make way for the entry of vehicles, while the stadium premises including the cricket pitch was dug up to erect tents and dais for the reception.
'All the top officials, from the local revenue divisional officer to the municipal commissioner, personally supervised the arrangements for the party to please the minister,' K. Appala Naidu, a local Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader, alleged.
An examination at the Srikakulam Government Degree College was cancelled to host the wedding reception of Rao's son
'Srikakulam being a small town, the Government Degree College is the major centre for hosting competitive exams in the district, as it can accommodate more than 2,000 candidates at a time.
'But this time the local revenue authorities cancelled the examination centre on administrative grounds. Most of the candidates who were expecting that they would be allotted the local centre were shocked to find out that they had to travel long distances to appear for the test,' Srinivasa Murthy, a local resident, said.
One of the candidates, Tejeshwar, was allotted an exam centre at Ranasthalam, more than 150 km from Srikakulam town.
'I had to drop out as I had no facility to reach the exam centre on time,' Tejeshwar said.
Rao's son Ram M. Naidu had his wedding reception at the Government Degree College premises and adjacent cricket stadium
The anger surfaced when a candidate, travelling to a test centre, met with an accident. G. Hemalatha was riding pillion on her father's motorcycle to Ichchapuram, about 140 km away, when they met with an accident.
While her father died on the spot, Hemalatha sustained serious injuries and is battling for life in a Srikakulam hospital.
Former union energy secretary EAS Sarma dashed off a letter to chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy demanding that the minister be sacked for the alleged misuse of power.
A delegation of all-party leaders also took out a rally in the town demanding action against the minister.
'We are going to move the human rights commission in this regard,' TDP leader Naidu said. While the minister could not be reached, his secretary denied the allegation of abusing power.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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