Minister says he has done no wrong

Minister for Roads & Buildings Dharmana Prasada Rao on Tuesday submitted his resignation to Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy in the backdrop of CBI naming him as the fifth accused in its charge-sheet in the Vanpic case. The Chief Minister, however, kept the resignation letter on hold after failing to convince him to take it back.

Mr. Rao told reporters after his 75-minute meeting with the Chief Minister that he took the decision on moral grounds. He said: “Party and Government’s image is more important than that of individuals.”

Mr. Prasada Rao said though the CBI had filed a charge-sheet, he was confident of coming out clean when it comes up before the court. “I have done no wrong,” he said. He maintained that he was resigning as he did not want his leader to face any inconvenience owing to the charge-sheet.

The Minister, on arrival from Delhi, drove straight to the Chief Minister’s camp office late on Tuesday night accompanied by Minister for Infrastructure Ganta Srinivasa Rao. It is understood Mr Srinivas Rao rushed to the airport to ensure that Mr. Prasada Rao did not proceed to Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor.

During the meeting, Mr. Reddy reportedly dissuaded him from pressing the resignation saying that there was a lot of time before the case comes up before the court. Meanwhile, legal experts could be consulted on prosecution and related issues, the Minister quoted the Chief Minister as telling him.

Referring to the case, Mr Rao said that none of the successive Revenue Ministers in the State, including himself, enjoyed any power to alienate even one acre of land to any project.

The proposal seeking a large extent of land for the Vanpic project had come to him from Infrastructure & Investment Department.

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