AICC spokesman wants Sabitha, Dharmana to go
In a significant development, P.C. Chacko, a spokesman of AICC, dropped strong hints on Saturday that the tainted Ministers in Andhra Pradesh facing criminal charges should resign voluntarily.
Replying to a question on the criminal charges filed against Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy at his daily briefing in the AICC headquarters in New Delhi, Mr. Chacko said: “The allegations are serious and charges have been filed. I am sure that it will come as voluntary resignation. Let us see how it will happen.”
His remarks appear to be in tune with the mood of the Central leadership to ease out the controversial Ministers facing criminal cases. There is growing pressure on Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy even in the State to sack the tainted Ministers in the quid pro quo investment case against Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.
Mr. Chacko’s comments came hours after the Chief Minister wound up his three-day visit to New Delhi to hold consultations with AICC president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad on the fate of the tainted Ministers. Mr. Reddy would undertake one more trip to Delhi later this month to discuss the issue.
On his return, Mr. Reddy was incommunicado to the media and there was little information coming out from his office on the outcome of his visit. Several Ministers contacted by The Hindu also said they had no knowledge on what transpired between the Central leaders and the Chief Minister. All that they could say was that the Chief Minister might have been given a specific direction to deal with the tainted Ministers.
The Chief Minister, in fact, had defended his Cabinet colleagues – Ms. Sabitha Reddy and Dharmana Prasada Rao – who are facing CBI charge-sheet in the Jagan case. Another Minister, K. Parthasarathy (Technical Education), may also face the axe as he has been convicted in a criminal case, but the sentence has been stayed by a court.
Party leaders maintain that Mr. Reddy had made a strong pitch to drop controversial Ministers – D.L. Ravindra Reddy and C. Ramachandraiah – who are highly critical of his style of functioning.
Mr. Chacko also stirred a controversy when he said that Telangana was not part of the national agenda. However, he was quoted by a section of the media as saying that Telangana was not part of the UPA’s agenda, drawing the ire of the TRS and the T-JAC which condemned the statement. The record was set straight when the AICC released a detailed statement about his press briefing.