Andhra Pradesh IT Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah on Thursday appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with a case pertaining to alleged illegal assets involving YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, even as the agency continued for the fifth day the custodial interrogation of the Kadapa member of Parliament.
The CBI, which had summoned the minister, is likely to examine him over Government Orders, issued during 2004-09 by the irrigation department, when he was the major irrigation minister in the cabinet of late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, on supply of water from river Krishna and Kagina to some cement firms, which in turn allegedly made investments in Jagan-owned businesses.
Before proceeding to the CBI office at Koti, Ponnala told reporters that he will reply to all queries of the agency. "I respect the law and will cooperate with the investigating agency...I have not done anything wrong," he said.
Ponnala is among the six Andhra Pradesh ministers who were issued notices by the Supreme Court in March, seeking their stand on the charge about their alleged role in the case against Jagan.
The central agency has so far arrested Jagan, his financial advisor V Vijay Sai Reddy (currently out on bail), former AP minister Mopidevi Venkatramana Rao, industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad and senior bureaucrat K V Brahmananda Reddy. It has also quizzed two other Andhra ministers, including Sabitha Indra Reddy and Dharmana Prasada Rao, over the controversial GOs.
The CBI is, meanwhile, continuing the questioning of Jagan after taking his custody from the Chanchalguda Jail, where he is under judicial remand till June 11. The five-day CBI custody period will expire on Thursday.
The CBI, in its three charge-sheets filed against Jagan and others, said he and his father had hatched a conspiracy to defraud the government, with Jagan influencing Rajasekhara Reddy in doling out certain favours to various investors, who made investments of several crores into Jagan's businesses (at very high premiums) on a quid-pro-quo basis.