CBI summons IAS kingpin in mining scam

Kumar Bhanu was a crucial player in awarding hydel power contracts to Jagan

Bhanu, the chairman of the   Tea Board, was special secretary in Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s office. Bhanu, a son-in- law of former union minister of state and IPS officer Rangaiah Naidu, has been named by Konda Reddy, one of the applicants for the  Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) mines lease, for relegating his application in favour of the OMC and Gali Janardhana Reddy.  Konda Reddy, son of a former MLA from Prodattur Varadarajulu Reddy, said in his statement before a magistrate that Bhanu had deliberately sidelined his application and had delayed it to give Jagan enough time to work against him. Based on Konda Reddy’s statement, the CBI is of the opinion that Bhanu could throw more light on the whole episode of the OMC mining grants and favouritism shown to  Janardhana Reddy.

“Without his nod, the GOs would not have been issued by the heads of departments concerned,” said CBI sources.

Kumar Bhanu was also a crucial player in procuring contracts for key hydel power projects in Sikkim for Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, who in turn used the opportunity to invest his ill-gotten money in projects away from media and political glare of AP. Kumar Bhanu, as he is popularly known, is a 1985 batch Assam-Meghalaya cadre IAS officer who has been on AP  deputation since 2001 and continued for nearly nine years as his family used its clout to keep him away from the turbulent days of terrorist activities in the North East.

When the Congress came to power in 2004, he was the first choice of YSR to join his team. Bhanu is credited with several welfare programmes of YSR regime such as Indiramma housing, Jalayagnam and Arogyasree, all of which became milch cows for the ruling party cadres and leaders. Bhanu enjoyed extraordinary powers in the CMO of YSR when his tenure came to an end just 28 days after the chopper crash, killing the chief minister on September 30.

Bhanu was the favourite officer of YSR and had been given several extensions beyond five years and was once again on extension of three months till the completion of the elections.

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