On the eve of Independence Day, two ministers were faced with freedom from power, with one submitting his resignation to the chief minister and awaiting his decision on it, and another losing a plea for a stay of his sentence in a FERA violation case.
After a long day of parleys in Delhi and Hyderabad, roads and buildings minister Dharmana Prasada Rao, put in his papers to chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who is understood to have deferred a decision saying he needed to think it over. The minister’s position in the state cabinet has come under a cloud since the CBI listed him as an accused in the Jagan Mohan Reddy assets case for alienating government land to the controversial Vanpic project.
The other minister, K Parthasarathi, had been convicted by a court for economic offences in a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate. Accused of FERA violations while he was the managing director of his company, KPR Plastic, he was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5.25 lakh. He had won a stay of the imprisonment but on Tuesday lost a petition for a stay of the fine in a metropolitan court.
The Dharmana saga promises to be long-drawn-out. The minister held hectic parleys on Tuesday with Union ministers Kishore Chandra Deo and Pallam Raju in Delhi, as also the Congress general secretary for AP, Ghulam Nabi Azad.
During his hour-long meeting with the chief minister, Dharmana is learnt to have denied the charges levelled against him in the CBI’s fourth chargesheet in the Jagan Mohan Reddy case. However, he put in his papers on ‘moral grounds’.