Hyderabad: With one minister after the
other of his Cabinet facing serious allegations of corruption
not only from opposition parties but also from senior Congress
leaders, Chief Minister K Rosaiah Friday asked his Cabinet
colleagues to "effectively and collectively" counter them and
ensure that the government’s image was not tarnished.
The issue came up for serious discussion at the State
Cabinet meeting, chaired by Rosaiah here today wherein Rural
Development Minister Vatti Vasantha Kumar raised the issue of
charges being levelled against Major Irrigation Minister
Ponnala Lakshmaiah by senior Congress leaders like former MLC
Palvai Govardhan Reddy and Nalgonda MP Gutta Sukhender Reddy.
Vatti strongly condemned the allegations and wanted
the so-called senior Congress leaders reigned in. "It is
unbecoming of these old people to level serious allegations
against a Cabinet minister," Vatti reportedly said.
Health Minister Danam Nagender reportedly pointed out
that Lakshmaiah was being targeted only because he was a
backward class leader. However, other ministers like
Komatireddy Venkata Reddy objected to Danam’s remark and said
caste had nothing to do with the allegations.
Rosaiah then asked his colleagues to collectively and
effectively counter such allegations against any minister. "We
all have to defend our colleagues. It is our collective
responsibility," Information Minister J Geeta Reddy, who
briefed reporters about the Cabinet decisions, quoted Rosaiah
"Today it is Lakshmaiah. Tomorrow it could be the
Chief Minister or someone else in the Cabinet against whom
allegations of corruption can be made. The Chief Minister was
very particular that we effectively counter all such
allegations," Geeta Reddy added.
She replied in the negative when questioned if Lakshmaiah
volunteered to face a probe in the light of the allegations
him, like Revenue Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao sought a
Vigilance inquiry into the allegations against him.
Referring to the senior leaders outbursts, the minister
said the party was seized of the matter.
Meanwhile, party sources said the Pradesh Congress
Committee president D Srinivas too was highly upset with the
so-called senior leaders over their diatribe against AICC
general secretary and Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily. He
also reportedly took strongly exception to Palvai Govardhan
Reddy’s claim that the state Governor too was part and parcel
of the Congress high command.
The high command has taken a serious view of these leaders
intemperate remarks and appropriate will be initiated at the
appropriate time, Srinivas reportedly told some party leaders