Except three ministers _ Dharmana Prasada Rao (R&B), Danam Nagender (Labour) and Erasu Pratap Reddy (Law) _ all other ministers who are under the scanner of the investigating agencies for their commissions and omissions while discharging their duties, took part in the Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday as though it was business as usual.
Prasada Rao, who has been named by the CBI in a supplementary charge sheet relating to YS Jagan Mohan Reddy assets’ case, submitted his resignation on moral grounds to the chief minister on Tuesday night and stayed away from the celebrations. He called up the Srikakulam district collector and told him that he would not be taking part in the celebrations and to make alternative arrangements for the function. Accordingly, the other minister from the district, Kondru Murali Mohan, unfurled the national flag though he is junior to Dharmana.
Danam Nagender, who is in the thick of a controversy over locking up a temple at Jubilee Hills in the capital after it was handed over to ISKCON for maintenance and had a case registered against him by the police under several sections of the IPC, also kept away from the flag-hoisting function at the Hyderabad district collectorate where the collector himself did it though traditionally the senior-most minister from the district hoists the national flag. Nagender went round his constituency _ Khairatabad _ and attended some local functions on the occasion. He, however, took enough care to attend the Independence Day celebrations at Gandhi Bhavan and at Parade Grounds where chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy hoisted the national flag.
In Kurnool, Erasu Pratap Reddy, who finds his name popping up with disturbing frequency in the cash-for-bail scam involving mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy, gave the I-Day celebrations a miss. The official reason given is that he was indisposed but he did it at the request of minor irrigation minister TG Venkatesh who wanted to have the honour of hoisting the national flag in Kurnool.
Botcha Satyanarayana (transport), who hails from Vizianagaram district, hoisted the tricolour at Gandhi Bhavan in his capacity as PCC president. He was grilled by the CBI in connection with the Emaar-MGF scam.
Sabita Indra Reddy (home), who is among the ministers issued notices by the Supreme Court, took part in the celebrations at Gachibowli. The other ministers who were issued notices by the Supreme Court _ J Geeta Reddy (industries), Ponnala Lakshmaiah (information technology) and Kanna Lakshminarayana (agriculture) unfurled the national flag in their respective districts. Apart from them, higher education minister K.Parthasarathi, who was convicted for repealed FERA, unfurled the national flag at Machilipatnam.