Even as Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan gave a green signal for their resignations, Ministers Dharmana Prasada Rao and P. Sabitha Indra Reddy appeared prepared for the eventuality.

The decision to accept their papers has not come as a surprise for the Ministers who claimed that the development was in tune with the party’s nationwide policy to ensure that its leaders come out clear from the charges they were facing in various cases.

The two Ministers were confident that it would give them an opportunity to prove their innocence as and when the judicial process was completed.

Ms. Sabitha and Mr. Dharmana said since they were relieved of their Ministerial responsibilities, they would now focus on serving the party in whichever form, the leadership wants them to. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Dharmana refuted the contention from a section of the party leaders that he was targeted.

“Feelings and arguments of individuals will not be considered as the party leadership will take decisions in the overall interests of the party,” he said.

He recalled how the party leadership directed Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy not to accept his resignation submitted in August last. “The Chief Minister conveyed the high command’s views to me and made me continue in the post till now,” he said.

He said professional politicians should always be prepared to face “testing times” when asked whether he was made a scapegoat in the entire episode.

“There is not an iota of truth in the charges levelled against me in the Vanpic case where 6,000 acres had been alienated on the basis of the decision of the Cabinet,” he said.

This was even corroborated by the CBI which did not mention anything about quid pro quo or any personal gains he (Mr. Prasada Rao) made.

Ms. Sabitha was equally confident that she would emerge unscathed in the entire episode as she had not done anything wrong.

“I am confident that the judicial process will prove my innocence or I am prepared to take to legal recourse if need be,” she said.

Ms. Sabitha who said she would focus on serving the party henceforth, however, replied in the negative when asked whether she would meet the party leadership to explain her case. “There are no immediate plans to go to Delhi,” she said.