Two Andhra Pradesh ministers charge sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the Jaganmohan Reddy’s disproportionate assets case are out of the cabinet. After much delay Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy forwarded the resignation letters to the governor ESL Narasimhan, who immediately accepted it.
The two ministers -- state home minister P Sabita Indra Reddy and road and buildings minister Dharmana Prasad Rao -- had submitted their resignation letters to the chief minister. While Sabita is an accused no. 4 in the charge sheet relating to the granting of mining lease to Dalmia Cements as minister of mines, Dharmana Prasad Rao is accused no. 5 in charge sheet relating to allocation of 20,000 acres of land to VANPIC project when he was revenue minister in YS Rajasekhar Reddy’s cabinet.
CBI has charged that both the decisions led to quid pro quo investment by the beneficiary companies in the firms of YS Jaganmohan Reddy, son of YSR.
With this the number of ministers, who had to quit in connection with YSR Congress leader Jagan’s case, has gone up to three. Earlier last year excise minister Venkatramanna had to resign after he was arrested by the CBI in connection with the Vanpic case. He was held responsible for the allocation of land for the port and industrial corridor project as he was minister for ports and infrastructure at the time.
While Venkatramanna continues to be in jail, speculation is rife that the two ousted ministers will also be arrested.
While Sabita had tendered her resignation soon after CBI named her in the charge sheet earlier this month, Dharmana had sent in his resignation in August last year but the chief minister never acted on it due to the political compulsions.
However the fate of the two ministers was sealed after the chief minister’s visit to New Delhi to get the nod of the Congress high command and the central leadership publicly gave an indication that it wants the tainted ministers out.
Both Sabita and Dharmana kept away from the media after Raj Bhavan issued a communique accepting their resignations. Dharmana Prasad Rao was confined to his residence in Srikakulam.
The main opposition Telugu Desam party was happy over the development. Leader of opposition in the state assembly N Chandrababu Naidu described it a “partial victory” saying that it was the pressure of the opposition which forced the acceptance of the two resignations.
“Now our case against the tainted minister has been further strengthened and our fight will continue against the other tainted ministers till they are also removed”, Naidu told the reporters.
He pointed out that while one minister was convicted in violation of Foreign Exchange Act, another was allegedly involved in money laundering case. “Three more ministers are facing investigation in issuing 26 GOs benefitting Jaganmohan Reddy’s companies,” he said.
Jaganmohan Reddy completes one year in jail
Two tainted ministers were removed from the cabinet on the day YSR Congress president and Kadapa MP Jaganmohan Reddy completed one year in Chanchalguda jail on Sunday. He was arrested by the CBI on charges of corruption, misuse of power and under various other sections on May 27 last year. The CBI has filed five charge sheets against him and investigations were still continuing.