AP CM rejects demand to sack `tainted` ministers

Supreme Court has issued notice against the ministers in connection with a case involving former Congress leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy amassing illegal assets.

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N
Kiran Kumar Reddy on Monday dismissed Opposition`s demand for
dismissal of six ministers in the wake of Supreme Court`s
notice against them in connection with a case involving former
Congress leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy amassing illegal assets.

A bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari issued notices
to J Geeta Reddy, P Sabita Indra Reddy, Kanna Lakshminarayana,
Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, Dharmana Prasada Rao and Ponnala
Lakshmaiah regarding 26 controversial government orders during
the tenure of then chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy.

The notices were issued on a special leave petition
filed by lawyer Sudhakar Reddy.

The ministers had served under late YSR Reddy government
and are also part of the Kiran Kumar Reddy cabinet.

The principal opposition Telugu Desam Party has
maintained that the tainted ministers could not continue in
their positions till they were proved innocent.

Replying to the charge, Kiran said, "The court did not
make any adverse observations against the ministers."

He was speaking to reporters after the Assembly was
adjourned for the day amid the vociferous demand by the
opposition parties seeking dismissal of the ministers.

"The demand for resignation or dismissal of ministers is
uncalled for," Kiran said, adding the issue would have no
bearing on his government.

Replying to questions, he said the Cabinet was always
collectively responsible for the decisions taken. "The
Cabinet`s collective responsibility need not be re-
emphasised," he said.

When asked about the CBI`s plea to the state government
for permission to prosecute senior IAS officers BP Acharya
(already arrested) and LV Subrahmanyam in the Emaar
Properties scandal, he said "they were studying it and would
send the file to the Centre for approval".

The government has given permission to the state Anti-
Corruption Bureau probing the liquor syndicates issue to
prosecute those involved in the illegal activity.

Meanwhile, TDP Legislature Party deputy leaders P Ashoka
Gajapathi Raju and Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu wondered if it
would be honourable for the government if the ministers were
arrested by the CBI.

"These ministers were involved in the corrupt deeds
during YSR`s tenure. They cannot escape by pleading they were
not party to the illegal deeds," they said reiterating their
demand for dismissal.

"If the government remains adamant, the next meeting of
the Cabinet will have to be conducted in Cherlapalli jail,"
they said, adding the TDP would boycott the ministers` replies
in the Assembly if they were not sacked forthwith.

Lok Satta Party chief N Jayaprakash Narayan too came down
heavily on the ruling Congress over the issue.

"The government cannot remain indifferent to corruption
and the ongoing CBI investigations in various corruption
cases. It is not right on part of the government to run away
from a discussion in the Assembly on corruption at a time when
some IAS officers have landed in jail and the CBI
investigations are continuing," he observed.

Jayaprakash suggested that the TDP lead all other
Opposition parties in the fight against corruption.