The Congress in Telangana has demanded the suspension of a Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLA after he made controversial remarks about government officers belonging to backward castes, reported NDTV.

TRS MLA Challa Dharma Reddy had claimed that the state was spoilt by officers belonging to backward castes. “The economically backward people in top castes are suffering so much injustice, they are poorer when compared to other castes and it is visible,” Reddy said at a rally in Warangal on Sunday. “Even after getting 99 marks, they could not secure a job and there are such people in this meeting.”

The MLA said that officers from backward castes do not know any work and narrated his meeting with such an officer. Reddy claimed that when he asked the officer, who belonged to a backward caste, if he excelled in his work, he replied that he did. “[But] He doesn’t know a single word,” the MLA said. “I asked them that why did they bring such an officer here, their reply was that when asked to give his signature, he will sign wherever we want but if a good officer comes he will refuse to sign.”

Following his remarks, senior Congress leader Sravan Dasoju demanded that Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and TRS Working President KT Rama Rao suspend Reddy for his “racist arrogance”.

“Is this what is being preached by CM KCR [K Chandrashekar Rao] to his colleagues to attack the weaker sections?” Dasoju asked. He also asked the police to file a criminal case on a suo motu basis against the MLA.

Reddy has, however, issued an apology and clarified his statement, reported ANI. He said that he had made the statements to support implementing reservation for Economically Weaker Sections.

“I request the caste-based unions and others to think with open hearts,” Reddy said. “I spoke only to promote EWS [Economically Weaker Sections]. I did not ask to reduce any percentage from any reservation caste. I asked for an extra 10 per cent reservation to be given to poor people.”