Question mark over the fate of other 3 ‘tainted Ministers’

Ending the week-long suspense, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan on Sunday accepted the resignations submitted by Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy and Roads & Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao.

“On the advice of the Chief Minister, the Governor has accepted the resignations tendered by Dharmana Prasada Rao, Minister for Roads and Buildings and Sabitha Indra Reddy, Minister for Home, with immediate effect,” a press communique from Raj Bhavan said. The two portfolios will be held by the Chief Minister until alternative arrangements are made, it said.

The two Ministers tendered their papers after their names figured in the charge-sheets filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation which is probing YSR Congress president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s quid pro quo investments case. Mr. Dharmana put in his papers in August last on being named by the CBI in its fourth charge-sheet for irregularities in land allotment to the VANPIC project.

Ms. Sabitha submitted her letter to Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy last month after her name figured in the fifth charge-sheet filed by the CBI which said there were irregularities in the grant of prospecting licences to Dalmia Cements.

After Ms. Sabitha was summoned by the CBI court to appear before it in June, the two Ministers called on the Chief Minister last week and reiterated to resign.

Mr. Kiran Reddy, who was reluctant to accept their resignations, acted only after the party high command made it clear that it was against their continuance in the Cabinet in the wake of Karnataka Assembly election results and forwarded them to the Governor.

In the wake of the acceptance of the resignations, some Congress leaders expressed fears that a few more Ministers might meet the same fate when the CBI completes investigation into other aspects of the case.

“More names will come out as the investigation progresses and no one will be spared if the tough stand taken by the party leadership is of any indication,” a senior leader said on the condition of anonymity.