Decide to meet Kiran and seek a judicial probe into the issue of 26 GOs during YSR’s tenure

In a significant development, four Ministers met in the Assembly on Tuesday and decided to call on Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy in the next few days and seek a judicial probe into the 26 ‘controversial’ GOs issued during YSR’s tenure.

Ministers — P. Sabitha Indra Reddy, J. Geetha Reddy, Kanna Lakshminarayana and Ponnala Lakshmaiah — also decided to file individual counters to the notices issued to them by the Supreme Court in connection with the CBI probe into Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s illegal assets. The meeting assumes significance in the wake of the CBI notice issued to Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao to appear before it on September 25.

According to sources, the Ministers consulted legal experts and decided to file individual counters. They reportedly expressed anguish that the government had not come to their rescue. They contended that had the government taken early decision, the Ministers would not have found themselves in the dock. A senior Minister told The Hindu that all the six Ministers had not done anything wrong. “We have just followed the business rules. None of us had any vested interests in issuing the GOs,” the Minister said.

Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana told reporters that it was wrong to blame them for the decisions. “If our decisions are faulted, then all the decisions taken since Independence could be deemed wrong. Nobody can work as a Minister, if the decisions are faulted,” he remarked.

They reportedly recalled how the former Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, had defended one of his Cabinet colleagues and refused to allow prosecution of bureaucrats. The Supreme Court responding to a petition by P. Sudhakar Reddy of Nellore had issued notices to six Ministers and eight bureaucrats.

The petitioner had alleged that 26 GOs were issued by the Ministers in violation of the law. He had alleged that these Ministers were privy to the YSR Government’s orders that reportedly benefitted some firms belonging to Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy.

Apart from the four Ministers, who attended the meeting today, Mr. Dharmana Prasada Rao quit the Cabinet after the CBI charge-sheeted him in the Vanpic land issue while Mopidevi Venkataramana Rao is in jail in connection with the same case.