'Don't seek' Dharmana's resignation: Andhra minist
Hyderabad: Fearing a negative fallout on the government in the Jaganmohan Reddy disproportionate assets case, some members of the Kiran Kumar Reddy Cabinet are believed to have told him not to seek resignation of minister Dharmana Prasada Rao, whose name figured in the CBI charge sheet in the Vanpic project issue.
There was talk that Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana would submit his resignation to Chief Minister Reddy soon after his return from New Delhi this afternoon but he had to postpone his return journey as he was busy meeting leaders of Congress high command to decide on his fate.
Deputy Chief Minister Damodara Rajanarasimha, Home Minister Sabita Reddy, Labour Minister Danam Nagender and Medical Education Minister Kondru Muralimohan met Kiran Reddy here and sought to prevail upon him not to seek resignation of Dharmana or drop him from the Cabinet.
"Four other ministers are also facing CBI probe in the Jagan case and the (Gali Janardhan Reddy) iron ore illegal mining case. If Dharmana is made to quit, the Opposition will step up pressure for the ouster of others as well.
"That will spell trouble for the government and the party," the ministers' delegation is believed to have told Kiran Reddy.
It is learnt that Kiran Reddy replied that he would have to act as per the high command's direction in Dharmana's case as he has been named in the charge sheet (as accused number 5) in the Vanpic land scam.
"Since he is meeting leaders of the high command, Dharmana will know their mind and act accordingly," a minister quoted the chief minister as telling them.
The home minister raised her own case and reportedly apprehended that she too might face the same ignominy as Dharmana as her actions as the then Minister for Mines under Y S Rajasekhara Reddy were being probed by the CBI (in the illegal mining case).
Kiran, however, sought to placate her saying they should wait for the outcome of the probe and there was no need for any preemptive action.
Apart from Dharmana and Sabita, Ministers Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Kanna Lakshminarayana and J Geeta Reddy are also facing the CBI heat over their role in issuing 26 controversial orders in all that resulted in quid pro quo deals enriching the YSR Congress president Jagan.
Congress ranks, on the other hand, were not forthcoming to speak anything on the "tainted" ministers but dissident leader P Shanker Rao was quick to demand the dismissal of all the five ministers, including Dharmana, from the Cabinet at once.