Ministers meet Kiran Reddy, complain against CBI

Twenty-two Andhra Pradesh ministers have met Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and demanded that individual ministers should not be held responsible by investigative agencies for Cabinet decisions that might turn out to be controversial.

The demand came after the Central Bureau of Investigation named Dharmana Prasada Rao as the fifth accused in the Vanpic scam. He resigned as the Roads and Buildings Minister last week after being chargesheeted in a disproportionate assets case.

The ministers—Sabita Indra Reddy, Dharmana Prasada Rao, Kanna Lakshmi Narayana, Sridhar Babu, Pitani Satyanarayana Anam Ramnarayana Reddy and Ponnala Lakshmaiah—upped the ante and threatened to revolt if the chief minister and PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana remained nonchalant to the CBI crackdown on ministers, sources said.

Speculation denied

The ministers, who were earlier denied an appointment by the chief minister, had a meeting at Tourism Minister Vatti Vasanta Kumar’s residence on Monday.  However, they denied speculations of a revolt in the party.

“There is no revolt. We just met the chief minister to tell him that no investigation was possible on administrative decisions taken by the Cabinet. It was unfair for the CBI to blame an individual minister for decisions taken by the Cabinet and the Supreme Court also said so,” said Anam Ramnarayana Reddy, after the meeting.

Sources said the ministers told Reddy that according to Article 163 of the Constitution, investigative agencies are not authorised to probe into Cabinet decisions. The CBI had overstepped its jurisdiction, they told the chief minister.

Vatti Vasanta Kumar also pointed out that the Supreme Court’s verdict in the S R Bommai case said Cabinet decisions were “ultimate and could not be questioned.”

Sources said the ministers were of the opinion that in case of Mopidevi Venkata Ramana’s arrest, Reddy had consulted the governor instead taking a decision on his own.

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