Hyderabad: They may be trying to put up a brave face but some members of erstwhile Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s Council of Ministers in Andhra Pradesh are clearly a worried lot with CBI launching a full-scale probe into alleged amassing of wealth by Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and irregularities in Emaar Properties land deal.
The Ministers, who held prime portfolios like Revenue, Major Industries, Mining, Infrastructure and Investment, Information Technology and Municipal Administration, might now come under the scanner as the probe progresses, official sources say.
Jagan, who is accused of money laundering and securing heavy investments into his business ventures as a quid pro quo when his father was the state chief minister, himself sought to push the blame on the then ministers saying it was “collective responsibility” of then cabinet in allotting land and doling out other favours to certain companies and individuals.
“The law will take its own course,” was the common refrain of some of the key ministers of the erstwhile YSR Cabinet, who are part of the current Kiran Kumar Reddy government as well.
“Our leader YSR himself used to say the law will take its own course. We are ready to face the CBI inquiry, if required,” state Finance Minister Aanam Ramanarayana Reddy said. Aanam held the Municipal Administration portfolio in the YSR Cabinet.
Transport Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee president Botsa Satyanarayana too said he would welcome a CBI investigation into the role of the then YSR Cabinet.
“If wrongdoing on part of any of the then ministers is proved, they will have to face the music,” Botsa remarked.
Incidentally, Botsa, as the then Major Industries Minister, faced allegations of misappropriating a sum of Rs 11 crore in the Volkswagen deal but a CBI inquiry ordered by YSR himself absolved him.
Former Chief Minister K Rosaiah, who was Finance Minister in YSR cabinet, and former ministers like J C Diwakar Reddy and R Damodar Reddy too said that they were ready to face any probe.
Diwakar and Damodar, however, noted that many decisions were taken by YSR himself without the involvement of the ministers concerned.
Current Textiles Minister P Shanker Rao, on whose letter the Andhra Pradesh High Court ordered an inquiry into the Jagan affair and Emaar Properties deal, shot off another letter to the CBI seeking a probe into the role of ministers of the then YSR Cabinet as well.
Two ministers who served under YSR – Konatala Ramakrishna (Commercial Taxes) and Balineni Srinivasa Reddy (Mines) – are now closely associated with Jagan while Ambati Rambabu, who served as chairman of AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation, is a key functionary of Jagan’s YSR Congress party.
“We want the role of the cabinet ministers under YSR to be investigated by the CBI. They cannot escape,” TDP MLA and spokesman Payyavula Keshav said even as he demanded that adequate security be provided to key witnesses in the Jagan case like his group executive director Vijayasai Reddy.