Revanth asks KTR to undergo drug test; Minister reacts

Telangana Congress chief Revanth asks KTR to undergo drug test; TRS Minister files defamation case

Revanth had reportedly associated KTR with 'cinema stars, who use drugs'

Revanth Reddy (left) and KT Rama Rao file photos. Credit: DH Photo

Telangana's Minister for IT, industries and municipal administration KT Rama Rao has initiated a defamation suit against Revanth Reddy, the state Congress chief, for allegedly dragging his name into the Tollywood drugs case.

Earlier, Reddy had asked KTR, as the minister is popularly known, to take the #WhiteChallenge, an initiative under which the opposition leader wants celebrities, politicians, etc. to undergo a test proving that they do not take drugs, and to send out a strong message to the public, especially the youth against the menace.

Addressing a Congress rally in Gajwel on Friday, Revanth had reportedly associated KTR with “cinema stars, who use drugs.”

A statement from KTR's office on Monday said that the minister has “instituted a civil suit for defamation and for grant of perpetual injunction against Revanth Reddy.”

“The suit is a result of various baseless, scurrilous, and manifestly false statements and allegations made against KT Rama Rao by Revanth Reddy seeking to falsely link him with the ongoing investigation being conducted by the Enforcement Directorate against allegations of drug and psychotropic substances abuse by certain named accused,” the statement said adding that further criminal proceedings could be initiated and “for payment of compensatory damages for such serious and malicious acts of defamation.”

While several Tollywood celebrities are under probe by the state government agencies and also the Enforcement Directorate for allegedly dealing with drugs, the Congress party has charged that such substances have become all pervasive in Telangana, “leading to rise in crime, including the rape-murder of a 6-year-old girl in Hyderabad recently.”

To begin with, Revanth had nominated the names of former TRS MP Vishweshwar Reddy and KTR. Vishweshwar accepted the challenge for such a test, and appeared alongside Revanth at the Telangana martyrs' memorial in-front of the state assembly on Monday.

While not declining the #WhiteChallenge, KTR has tweeted that he is “ready for any test and will travel to AIIMS Delhi if Rahul Gandhi is willing to join.”

“It is below my dignity to do it with Cherlapally jail alumni. If I take the test and get a clean chit, will you apologise and quit your post? Are you ready for a lie-detector test on #Note4Vote?” KTR questioned Revanth.

Revanth was arrested in the cash-for-vote scam during the 2015 MLC elections in Telangana, when he was a TDP legislator.

Following up on the infamous 2017 Tollywood drugs case, the ED recently questioned several celebrities like Ravi Teja, Puri Jagannadh, Rana Daggubati, Rakul Preet Singh, Charmi Kaur to probe the money laundering aspect in drug peddling.