Pressure on Andhra chief minister to 'bail out' colleagues
Hyderabad, Aug 21 (IANS) Ministers in Andhra Pradesh are mounting pressure on the chief minister not to accept the resignation of their colleague Dharmana Prasada Rao and bail out others facing allegations in an illegal assets case.
As many as 22 ministers called on Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy at his camp office Tuesday to demand that the government bail out former minister Mopidevi Venkatramna, roads and buildings minister Prasada Rao and some other ministers facing investigation by the CBI in YSR Congress Party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy's illegal assets case.
The CBI in May arrested then excise minister Mopidevi Venkatramna and last week chargesheeted Prasada Rao. Rao submitted his resignation to the chief minister Aug 14 but Kiran Kumar Reddy is yet take a decision on it.
Four other senior ministers are also facing allegations that they issued orders in the past benefiting Jaganmohan Reddy.
The ministers, who were part of the earlier cabinet of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, demanded that the chief minister take a proper stand after seeking legal opinion on whether a minister can be faulted for a collective decision by the cabinet.
State Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy told reporters that they also demanded that the chief minister urge the party's central leadership to extend support to the ministers.
They argued that their action in issuing orders was not in their individual capacity but as members of the council of ministers and that they cornered no benefits from such orders.
The Supreme Court in March had issued notices to the six ministers and eight Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers, asking them why their role should not be probed in issuing 26 controversial government orders during Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's tenure.
The state government has already decided to extend legal assistance to the ministers and the bureaucrats who were issued notices by the apex court.
According to CBI, these orders bestowed undue favours upon individuals and companies in return for the investments they made in the firms owned by Jaganmohan Reddy, son of the then chief minister.
Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy died in a helicopter crash in September 2009.
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