Ministers meet Kiran to discuss Dharmana’s resignation
A large majority of Ministers in the Kiran Kumar Reddy Cabinet have admitted for the first time that they could not muster enough courage to say no to the decisions taken by late Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on several issues.
“He was very powerful and wielded heavy clout with the high command. He exercised so much of influence that we could not say ‘no’ to files sent to us for appending our signature,” Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy reportedly said while summing up the feelings of his colleagues after an hour-long meeting with the Chief Minister on Tuesday.
They conveyed their views at an impromptu meeting of the Cabinet held on Tuesday in light of Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao’s resignation. Attended by almost all the Ministers, the meeting assumed significance as there is growing insecurity among those Ministers who were served Supreme Court notices over issuance of 26 controversial GOs when YSR was the Chief Minister.
The Ministers made it clear to the Chief Minister and PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana that they must take up Mr. Prasada Rao’s cause with the high command and settle it at the earliest. They were firm that the Government should not give sanction to the CBI to prosecute the Minister, but the response from Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy was said to be muted.
The Ministers said they were being victimised for no fault of theirs. “There were no procedural lapses and we have not benefitted from them,” Mr. Prasada Rao reportedly added.
Minister for Panchayat Raj K. Jana Reddy wanted the Government to seek the opinion of the Solicitor General of India and Advocate General of AP.
Another Minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar quoted Article 163 of the Constitution to press his point that the Cabinet is the supreme policy making body.
Yet another Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah, who is among those who have received the Apex Court’s notice, recalled that the files, which should have been normally cleared by the Chief Engineer, were sent to him. Several senior Ministers were understandably “hurt” on being called ‘tainted’ after serving the party for a long time.
‘Do we deserve this?’
“Do we deserve such humiliation at this stage,” a senior Minister told The Hindu and added “we don’t expect any positive outcome from this meeting.”
After the meeting, Mr. Ramanarayana Reddy told reporters that they made two specific requests to Mr. Kiran Reddy.
Firstly, to consult legal experts so that follow up action could be taken up. Secondly, the Chief Minister and the APCC president should visit New Delhi and discuss the issue with the central leadership.