HYDERABAD: In spite of the growing demand for retaining ACB additional director K Sreenivasa Reddy, who is supervising the investigation into illegal activities of liquor syndicates in the state, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy appears to be in no mood to accommodate it.
This, according to sources, is to ensure that he would not rub PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana on the wrong side at a time when the party high command does not want any more bouts of confrontation between the two, especially with byelections to 18 Assembly seats round the corner. Sreenivasa Reddy was actively supervising investigation into the activities of liquor syndicates in all districts, including Vizianagaram, the native district of Botcha Satyanarayana, where he is suspected to have vast interests in the trade. Botcha lodged a protest with the party leadership in New Delhi that Kiran Kumar Reddy was trying to fix him in the liquor scam using the ACB. As proof, he sent a copy of the legal notice that an inspector of ACB had served on Sreenivasa Reddy for “bringing pressure” on him to send a report damning Satyanarayana.
When an all-party delegation called on the chief minister and sought his retention since the probe into liquor syndicates and involvement of politicians was still going on. The delegation urged the chief minister not to dilute the case by transferring officials when the role of some ministers in liquor syndicates was coming to light.
The chief minister, however, said he had transferred Sreenivasa Reddy on administrative grounds and he did not understand why they were insisting on retaining him in the post. He is reported to have said that there were a number of officers of honesty and integrity in the ACB to continue the investigation.
When the delegation insisted on an all-party meeting on the operations of the liquor mafia in the state, the chief minister consented to it, but dismissed the suggestion that the government should run retail liquor business.
The delegation, later found fault with the Congress high command for diluting the probe into the liquor syndicates to placate PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana and bring about truce between the two leaders. Jayaprakash Narayan of Lok Satta, Motkupalli Narasimhulu of TDP and K Narayana of CPI were among those who called on the chief minister.