ANDHRA PRADESH

Suryanarayana ‘leaves’ State red-faced

‘He wielded considerable clout in different departments’

HYDERABAD: The skeletons that came out of the cupboard after the arrest of V. Suryanarayana, Executive Engineer of the Fisheries Department, by the Anti-Corruption Bureau has placed the government in discomfiture.

Suryanarana, who is in jail in Vijayawada, caused all-round consternation when his high profile connections came to light.

These contacts in different departments enabled him to obtain contracts worth over Rs. 100 crore. What is now a nightmare for Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy is the allegation that Ministers of the State and a former Union Minister were among his contacts. Suryanarana secured contracts from Minorities Welfare, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, School Education and other departments in the State and the ESIC of the Central government in violation of a circular from the Chief Minister’s office issued on April 30, 2007 directing all concerned not to entrust any work to the Fisheries engineering wing on April 30 last year.’ According to senior officials, a measure of his influence was his ability to secure works from the Minorities Welfare department by “communicating on behalf of the Fisheries Commissioner” in the absence of the latter. “This shows the considerable clout he wielded in different departments,” a senior CMO official said.

His modus operandi, according to CMO officials, was to select departments that were without an engineering wing, for securing contracts.

The “good terms” he enjoyed with senior officials including a couple of those of the rank of the Special Chief Secretary to the government and “close rapport” with the peshis of some Ministers are said to have come in handy.

“Despite several objections against the official earlier, he managed to secure the contracts,” a CMO official said, wondering at the rise of Suryanarayana who joined as a daily wage worker to his present position in Fisheries department.

His influence could be gauged from the fact that a special chief secretary, who earlier order cancellation of works awarded to Suryanarayana, made a U-turn in writing to other departments to entrust works to him later. The issue would not have seen the light of the day but for Suryanarayana’s suspension a few of days ago on charges of irregularities.