Some leaders believe that the Minister should not have tendered his resignation at this juncture

The State Congress leaders appear to be divided over the decision of the Roads & Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao to put in his papers on being named as the fifth accused by the CBI in the Vanpic lands issue.

A section of leaders are of the opinion that Mr. Prasada Rao should not have tendered his resignation at this juncture as it had mounted pressure on other Ministers who received notices from the Supreme Court in the case relating to issuance of 26 controversial GOs. They are finding fault with Mr. Prasada Rao’s remark that he had resigned on moral grounds and would resume the position after proving his innocence.

Graft not sole issue

They point out that corruption is one among several issues, and not the sole criterion, based on which people decide their choice. “Mr. Jagan’s party would not have secured so many seats with such majorities in the by-elections had corruption been the only issue,” a senior leader pointed out.

The partymen want the Congress leadership to consider various factors such as services rendered by Mr. Prasada Rao in strengthening the party in north coastal Andhra and the respect he commands among the electorate in the area before taking a decision on his resignation.

It is in this background that the AP Congress Committee president Botcha Satyanarayana left for New Delhi on Monday to apprise the AICC leaders about the latest developments.

Mr. Satyanarayana will impress upon them not to accept the Minister’s resignation as it would entail wider ramifications for the party in the run-up to the general elections in 2014.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy is expected to join Mr. Satyanarayana, by Tuesday evening, for seeking the leadership’s guidance on the course of action he should adopt to wriggle out of the present situation. A delegation of Congress leaders from Srikakulam led by Killi Kruparani, MP, is also meeting the central leaders.