Even as roads and buildings minister Dharmana Prasada Rao is miffed that neither the chief minister nor the party high command has made an effort to prevent ministers from falling victims to the decisions taken unilaterally by the YSR government, the party’s top brass in Delhi appears to be in no mood to spare any of the ministers or officials who carry the stigma of being part of the alleged multi-crore scam.
According to sources, the AICC leadership is more interested in projecting a clean image for the party rather than going to the rescue of tainted ministers and allow the party’s image to take a beating, particularly in Andhra Pradesh. According to one leader, the leadership is aware of the consequences of allowing the law to take its own course but has girded its loins to face the consequences which might be in the form of such ministers turning inimical to the party.
The high command is aware that if even if the chief minister is directed to ask the tainted ministers to remain in the cabinet, it will be a mere eye-wash and will not serve any useful purpose either for the party or the government or for that matter, to the minister himself. Sources pointed out that the CBI would not have named Dharmana in the chargesheet without clearance from its bosses in Delhi.
After tendering his resignation to the chief minister on Tuesday night, Dharmana was not seen anywhere on Wednesday. He did not even take part in the Independence Day celebrations in his native Srikakulam district. He told the party leadership in Delhi and the chief minister in Hyderabad what he had to say and announced to mediapersons that he had submitted his resignation.
Though the chief minister asked him not to press for his resignation’s acceptance, the latter came out of the chief minister’s residence and said that he would not want to continue in office anymore. According to the sources, he brought up moral high ground as reason for his resignation since he had seen the writing on the wall.
In another development, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy met governor ESL Narasimhan and was closeted with him for more than half an hour explaining the reasons for Dharmana’s resignation.
With indications from Delhi that the party may not spare any one against whom there is an evidence of involvement in the scams that Jagan had allegedly pulled off, other ministers who had received Supreme Court notices appear to be in jitters over what lay in store for them. Of the six ministers who received the notices, CBI has already arrested Mopidevi Venkataramana who was infrastructure minister in YSR’s cabinet.
The ministers who are under the CBI scanner already submitted to the central leadership of the party that they had become involuntary victims of the unilateral decisions taken by the late YSR and were therefore innocent. They had to sign on dotted lines at the chief minister’s instance, they explained. They also refer to the party high command backing late YSR in those days and when the tide reversed, they were being dropped like hot bricks, they lament and insist that the party come to their rescue.
Another section of the Congress that is against letting the scam-tainted ministers go scot-free. “At the national level, the CBI has probed scams relating to Common Wealth Games and 2G telecom spectrum auction, and did not hesitate to arrest top leaders including DMK chief Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi. It is unlikely that the leadership would spare the scam-tainted ministers,” a senior leader said.
PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana says the Kiran should tell his decision on Dharmana’s resignation. Satyanarayana, sharing his thoughts confidants, is understood to have been upset over the Kiran not discussing Dharmana’s resignation with him. He said he would speak to the party high command himself on what should be done in Dharmana’s case.