Telangana: ‘Godmen’ dupe MLA family of Rs 57 lakh after promising ministerial berth
Dharma Reddy told the media that he did not believe in any superstitions and pujas, though he was a religious person.india Updated: Jul 17, 2017 21:31 IST
Two self-styled godmen duped the family of a TRS MLA of Rs 57 lakh, promising they would perform special pujas to ensure he became a minister in K Chandrashekar Rao government in Telangana.
According to police, Pastam Narsimha Raju alias Lakshman and Pastam Raju alias Vamsi, residents of Kareemabad in Warangal, are absconding and police are on the lookout for the two.
Lakshman and Vamsi had approached the family of Parkal MLA, Challa Dharma Reddy, claiming to be godmen, six months ago and told his daughter Manasa Reddy that their family was going through some bad phase.
The duo promised to perform special prayers to ward off evil forces and ensure Reddy a berth in the cabinet.
The family, said to have strong belief in religious rituals, was apparently convinced with their claims.
“Initially, Manasa paid them Rs 1 lakh, but the duo continued to fleece, stating that they were performing special pujas in various temples across the country. In all, they collected Rs 57 lakh from her in the last six months,” the police said.
However, the family got suspicious as there were no signs of the MLA getting the ministerial post. In fact, the Telangana chief minister had ruled out the possibilities of expanding or reshuffling his cabinet.
On July 14, the “godmen” came to the MLA’s house again and asked for more money from Manasa, stating that they needed to perform more pujas. They even warned that if she did not pay, all previous pujas would go futile.
However, Manasa refused to yield and instead, asked them to return all the money given earlier. Realising that their game was up, the duo quietly left the place. Subsequently, Manasa lodged a complaint with the Subedari police station in Warangal.
Dharma Reddy told the media that he did not believe in any superstitions and pujas, though he was a religious person.
“I believe in my hard work and not these pujas. It is the discretion of the chief minister to take me into the cabinet or not. I cannot get cabinet berth through performing these pujas,” he clarified.
First Published: Jul 17, 2017 21:27 IST