Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Friday said every minister "has to fall in line" in respect to Cabinet decisions, but gave no sign of action against dissenting Health Minister D L Ravindra Reddy.
Ravindra opposed the Cabinet decision (on November 23) to reject the CBI plea for prosecution of Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao in the Vanpic Port land scandal. He even asked the Chief Secretary to place it in "on record".
Reacting to the issue, the chief minister cited the Supreme Court judgement in the H D Deve Gowda case that said "any minister has to fall in line or be dropped" (if he opposed any decision of the Cabinet).
"Any decision by the Cabinet is collective. One may differ during discussion but when a decision is taken, it is final," Kiran said during an informal chat with newspersons in the state Assembly premises.
Asked if a minister should quit on his own if he opposed a Cabinet decision, the CM replied in the affirmative.
But when asked if he would act against Ravindra, Kiran shot back, "What mistake has he done for me to do anything?"
In the past too, Ravindra had been critical of many decisions of the chief minister.
Meanwhile, Kiran defended the Government decision to reject the CBI`s plea for prosecution of Dharmana. "All decisions taken by Dharmana were of the (then) Cabinet (headed by late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy). Dharmana`s case is different from that of (former minister) Mopidevi Venkata Ramana.
"Mopidevi was first arrested by CBI (in the Vanpic land scandal) without the agency seeking permission from the state government. He then resigned from the Cabinet. In Dharmana`s case, the CBI sought permission," he explained.
He noted CBI itself told the court that cases related to Dharmana and Mopidevi were different.
On the resignation of his detractor Peddireddi
Ramachandra Reddy from the MLA`s post, Kiran said, "I don`t think I will go into it. It`s not necessary."
He refuted allegations that his younger brother was acting as an "extra-constitutional authority" in Chittoor district.
"My younger brother attends marriages and other functions to build relations with people in my constituency on my behalf," the chief minister said.
Questioned about reports that stake was purchased on his behalf in a television channel, Kiran replied, "I don`t need to have any such stake. If any of my friends have, I have no connection with that."