Andhra Pradesh Home Minister P Sabita Reddy and Roads and Buildings Minister D Prasada Rao, who were named as accused in disproportionate assets case involving Kadapa member of Parliament Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, submitted their resignations to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy late on Sunday night.
The two "tainted" ministers put in their papers following a directive to the effect by the Congress high command, sources said.
Sabita and Prasada Rao met the CM at his camp office late on Sunday night and submitted their resignations and left the place in their private vehicles, the sources said, but there was no confirmation from the Chief Minister’s Office on the resignations. Sources indicated that the resignation letters would be forwarded to Governor E S L Narasimhan tomorrow for approval.
Prasada Rao had submitted his resignation earlier and even stayed away from duties for long, but he was asked to continue in office. Sabita too had offered to quit, but she was also persuaded not to resign.
While Prasada Rao, the then revenue minister in the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy government, was named as an accused in the Central Bureau of Investigation
chargesheet in the Vanpic land allotment scandal, Sabita, who was previously the minister for mines, was listed as an accused in the illegal allocation of mines to certain cement companies.
During his series of meetings with the All India Congress Committee top leadership, including Sonia Gandhi, Kiran Kumar Reddy is understood to have been asked to drop the chargesheeted ministers.
The CBI has accused Jagan and his late father of hatching a conspiracy to defraud the state government, wherein Jagan influenced the senior Reddy to dole out certain favours to various stakeholders, who made investments of several crores in Jagan's businesses (at very high premium) as quid-pro-quo.
Vowing not to relent till the ministers are removed, main opposition Telugu Desam Party had met Governor E S L Narasimhan with the demand for removal of the "tainted" ministers.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu would meet President Pranab Mukherjee with the demand for the removal of the ministers, TDP sources said earlier in the day.
Sabita is the third minister from the state to figure in the five chargesheets filed by the CBI in connection with the disproportionate assets case involving Jagan. The agency filed its fifth chargesheet before a special
CBI court in Hyderabad last month naming Jagan and 12 other individuals, and firms.
The CBI alleged that Dalmia Cements was allotted limestone mines in the state during YS Rajasekhara Reddy rule at throw-away prices. Sabita had held the portfolio of mines minister during the YSR rule.
Dalmia is accused of investing in Jagan's firms for the favours it allegedly got from the government.
Dharmana Prasada Rao is an accused in the case pertaining to alleged quid-pro-quo deals involving the YSR Congress party president.
Dharmana's name figured in the chargesheet pertaining to Vanpic port-cum-industrial corridor project, whose promoter industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, allegedly invested Rs 854 crore in the companies belonging to Jagan towards a largesse for which the then AP government, led by late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, allegedly doled out many favours.
Dharmana was named as accused number five in the Vanpic aspect of the Jagan assets case in the chargesheet that was filed before the trial court by the CBI on August 14 last year. He was the revenue minister in the YSR regime between 2004-2009 including the period when the Vanpic project was conceived.
The CBI had arrested another minister Mopidevi Venkatramna in Vanpic case in May last year and he is currently lodged in a jail here along with Jaganmohan Reddy and others. Mopidevi was minister for Infrastructure and ports in YS Rajasekhara Reddy's cabinet.
Image: YSR Congress President and Kadapa MP Jaganmohan Reddy