Quotes SC ruling; says Ministers should fall in line with the Cabinet or they could be dropped

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has asked Ministers like D.L. Ravindra Reddy to quit their posts if they were unhappy with the decisions taken by the State Cabinet.

In what is seen as counter offensive against those Ministers frequently criticising the Cabinet’s decisions, the Chief Minister warned them to fall in line or quit their posts. Quoting a Supreme Court’s ruling in this regard, he said that the Apex Court, while dealing with case relating to former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, made clear that the Ministers should fall in line with the Cabinet or they could be dropped.

“There can be debates and difference of opinion within the Cabinet. But the Council of Ministers will be collectively responsible for all the decisions taken at Cabinet meetings,” he said. He evaded reply when asked whether Dr. Ravindra Reddy would be dropped as also the possibility of opting for a Cabinet reshuffle. Mr. Kiran Reddy made this remarks in an informal chat with reporters in his chambers in the Assembly. He said Cabinet decisions were the collective responsibility of all as Ministers could not take decisions in their individual capacity.

He was responding to queries on Dr. Ravindra Reddy faulting the Cabinet’s decision against giving its consent to the CBI to prosecute Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao in connection with the alleged irregularities in land allotments.

He made a distinction between the cases relating to former Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana Rao and Mr. Dharmana. Mr. Venkataramana Rao was arrested by the CBI without seeking the permission of the Cabinet. But the CBI sought the approval of the Cabinet for prosecuting Mr. Dharmana.

“When the Cabinet did not approve the resignation of Mr. Dharmana, what does this mean?” he asked. The Chief Minister said all the decisions taken by Mr. Dharmana were collective decisions of the Cabinet and the decision to reject his resignation was taken after considering the issue in legal and other aspects.

On the other issues, he said efforts would be made to fill the nominated posts within a month, but refuted reports that he was planning to acquire a newspaper and television channel.

Asked about Congress MLA P. Ramachandra Reddy’s remarks against his functioning, he said: “I don’t need anybody’s certificate for my functioning.”

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