TDP demands sacking of ‘tainted’ Andhra ministers

Hyderabad, May 12 (IANS) The opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh are mounting pressure on the government for resignations of “tainted” ministers following the removal of two central ministers who faced corruption charges.

Leader of Opposition and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu would meet state governor E.S.L. Narasimhan on Monday to seek the dismissal of about a dozen ministers, including those named as accused in a disproportionate assets case against YSR Congress party president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, TDP leaders said Sunday.

Naidu would urge the sacking of Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy and Minister for Roads and Buildings Dharmana Prasada Rao, who were named in the charge sheets filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Jaganmohan case.

Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member V. Hanumantha Rao has already demanded that Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy sack the ministers, saying party chief Sonia Gandhi, by dropping Pavan Kumar Bansal and Ashwini Kumar from the central cabinet, had sent a clear message that corruption would not be tolerated within Congress ranks.

Prasada Rao had submitted his resignation after he was named in a charge sheet filed in August last year. The chief minister, however, did not accept his resignation. The state cabinet also refused to grant permission to the CBI to prosecute the minister.

Sabita Indra Reddy was named as one of the accused in the fifth charge sheet filed last month. She offered to resign, but the chief minister advised her not to do so.

Then excise minister Mopidevi Venkatramna quit after he was arrested by the CBI in the same case in May last year.

TDP would also demand sacking of three other ministers who were issued notices from the Supreme Court in the Jaganmohan case and some other ministers, allegedly involved in liquor scam, violation of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) and money laundering.

Naidu had been accusing Kiran Kumar Reddy of shielding the tainted ministers.

The Congress government, however, is defending the ministers named in the Jaganmohan case, saying they acted on the direction of then chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and were not beneficiaries of the orders they issued.

The CBI has accused the ministers of issuing controversial orders allocating land, leases or licenses to the companies and individuals who on a quid pro quo basis invested in the business of Jagan, as the son of then chief minister Y.S. is popularly known. Rajasekhara Reddy died in a helicopter crash in September 2009.

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