Hyderabad: Internal differences within the
ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh came to the fore today with
a group of senior leaders and MPs demanding resignation of
state Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah for the alleged
irregularities in irrigation projects.
"Minister Lakshmaiah should be held responsible for
various irregularities. He should immediately resign. IAS
officer C V S K Sarma, who was secretary in Irrigation
Department, is now in Chief Minister`s Office. He should
take 100 per cent responsibility," Palvai Govardhan Reddy, a
senior Congress leader, told reporters.
Several MPs and other leaders from Telangana region held
a meeting at Govardhan Reddy`s residence today.
Lakshmaiah, who also hails from Telangana, has been the
irrigation minister since Congress assumed power under the
leadership of late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy in 2004.
Nalgonda MP G Sukhender Reddy said he and his colleagues
would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president
Sonia Gandhi to apprise them about the alleged corruption in
the irrigation projects.
He demanded a change in the design of Polavaram
irrigation project in coastal Andhra to "save the lives of
hundreds of people in the region and to prevent submergence in
Terming the allegations against him as untrue, Lakshmaiah
dismissed the demand for his resignation.
"This government has given due importance to Telangana
in irrigation projects. There is no truth that we did not care
for Telangana. It is a historical fact that we ensured
transparency in the implementation of irrigation projects by
conducting public debates over the whole issue. When the
allegations are untrue, there is no question of my
resignation," he said.