Seven Andhra Ministers skip Cabinet meeting
Hyderabad: As many as seven Ministers of Andhra Pradesh could not attend the Cabinet meeting held here this evening for various reasons, indicating fissures in the Congress Government.
The Cabinet met after a gap of nearly three months and just two days ahead of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy's second anniversary in office.
Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao, who submitted his resignation on August 14 after being charge- sheeted by CBI in the Vanpic Port land scam, stayed away from the meet. He, however, sent a note to his Cabinet colleagues pleading innocence in the land allotment issue.
"I have not taken any decision on my own. Everything was done in accordance with the (then) Cabinet decisions," claimed Rao, who is accused of indiscriminately allotting thousands of acres of land for Vanpic project as Revenue Minister in the previous Y S R Reddy Government.
Major Industries Minister J Geeta Reddy is said to have gone to Puttaparthi to take part in the birth anniversary celebrations of late Satya Sai Baba. Mines Minister Galla Aruna Kumari is in the USA to visit her daughter.
Civil Supplies Minister D Sridhar Babu is on an "undisclosed private visit outside the state" and is said to be "unaware" of the Cabinet meet.
"He left on November 16 and the Cabinet meet schedule was communicated only three-four days ago. We could not inform him about it as we have no contact with him," an aide of the Minister claimed.
Infrastructure Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao also failed to turn up but reasons for his absence are not known.
Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy is currently undertaking a padayatra in his native Anantapur district to celebrate the completion of an irrigation project.
Home Minister Sabita Reddy, Stamps and Registration Minister Thota Narasimham and BC Welfare Minister Basavaraj Saraiah, who went to express solidarity with Raghuveera, could not return to Hyderabad in time for the meet.