Even as chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy sits on the resignation submitted by Dharmana Prasada Rao, several of his cabinet colleagues, including deputy chief minister Damodara Rajanarasimha, have rallied behind the beleaguered minister, lending him what they call ‘moral support’.
Apart from Rajanarasimha, ministers K Parthasarathy (seconday education), K Jana Reddy (panchayat raj), Ganta Srinivasa Rao (infrastructure), Dokka Manikya Varaprasad (rural development), Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy (cooperation), Thota Narasimham (stamps and registration) and Kondru Murali Mohan (medical education) called on Dharmana at his Ministers Quarters residence on Thursday.
Jana Reddy, Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy and Murali Mohan examined the GOs he issued when he was revenue minister in the regime of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy pertaining to the allotment of land to the Vanpic project. They also examined the charges levelled against him by the CBI in its fourth charge-sheet in the Jagan Reddy assets case.
According to sources, Dharmana told these four sympathisers that those decisions were taken collectively by the YSR cabinet and that he was being unfairly singled out by the CBI now.
Dharmana is understood to have decided to challenge in the High Court his inclusion as accused in the chargesheet, taking the plea that one minister cannot be made responsible for a decision taken by the entire cabinet. Moreover, since the land allotment to Vanpic was part of the state government’s industrial policy, how could the CBI find fault with it?