Separate reports sought over the issue from Chief Minister and APCC chief
All eyes are now on the Congress high command to announce its decision on the resignation letter submitted by Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao after he was named in the CBI charge sheet in the Vanpic land allotment case.
State Congress leaders point out that the seriousness with which the party’s central leadership is viewing the development can be gauged from the fact that it had sought separate reports from Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and AP Congress Committee chief Botcha Satyanarayana.
The Chief Minister and PCC chief are expected to meet senior leaders in a couple of days to seek their advice on the repercussions of the resignation and the course of action that should be adopted.
A delegation of Congress leaders from Srikakulam, Mr. Dharmana’s native district, are planning to meet the central leadership with a plea not to accept his resignation. Leaders maintain that Mr. Prasada Rao’s fate would be sealed once the high command gives the green signal to the Chief Minister to accept his papers.
The Congress leadership which finds itself in an embarrassing situation following the CAG report on coal allotment scam is, however, said to be not inclined to consider the resignation issue sympathetically. Given this backdrop, the State Congress leaders are worried about the possible fallout in the event of the acceptance of the resignation.
A senior leader said if Mr. Prasada Rao’s resignation is accepted, then there would be intense pressure on five other Ministers, who were served notices by the Supreme Court in connection with issuance of 26 controversial GOs.
Party leaders say once the Chief Minister gets the go ahead from the high command, he would forward the explanation given by Mr. Prasada Rao and a separate note from the government on the request by CBI to sanction permission to prosecute the Minister.
In the meantime, the government has started consulting legal experts and sought the views of the Law Department and the Advocate General on the issue. Sources said Mr. Prasada Rao during interaction with colleagues and Congress leaders continued to maintain that he had not done any mistake in the issuance of GOs. He was, however, apprehensive whether the government would extend legal aid if his resignation was accepted.