In a shocking revelation, Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy alleged that he was slapped by the then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu when he objected to the privatisation of Nizams Sugar Factory.
Intervening during debate on drought situation in Telangana in State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, Pocharam recalled the incident which took place when he himself was a minister in Naidu's cabinet. He said Naidu had constituted a Cabinet Sub-Committee comprising of Vidhyadhar Rao and ML Ramakrishna and he was not included although he hailed from Nizamabad. A meeting was held at Naidu's residence and it was attended by Cabinet Sub-Committee members and other senior officials.
"I requested Naidu with folded hands to drop plan to privatise Nizam Sugar Factory. Due to my repeated requests he got irritated. He stood up from his seat and slapped me on my right leg. Everyone in the room was stunned. Naidu immediately left the meeting hall and went inside the room. A few moments later, he called me inside and apologised for slapping. I told him that although he had slapped me on my leg, I felt the pain in my heart. He apologised again and invited me to accompany him in his car to the Secretariat. I refused and again requested him not to privatise the factory," recalled Pocharam.
Pocharam said he had never revealed this secret to anyone. However, he is disclosing it now only as a reference to show how the previous government damaged the Nizam Sugar Factory.