HYDERABAD: A day after IAS officers pointed fingers at them, cabinet ministers in Andhra Pradesh Sunday hit back at top bureaucrats daring them to name the corrupt ministers. Minister for Rural Development D. Manikya Varaprasad asked Indian Administrative Service officers to make public the names of the ministers they believe are corrupt.
The reaction came a day after the IAS officers' association said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was targeting them, leaving out the ministers responsible for wrong decisions. The CBI has arrested two IAS officers, including a home secretary, in the Emaar township and illegal mining cases. Another officer has been named in the chargesheet in Emaar case while some others are being questioned.
"It is not proper on the part of IAS officers to criticize CBI and shift the blame on ministers," Varaprasad told reporters in Guntur. The minister termed as "unfortunate" the situation created in the state by the allegations of corruption against IAS officers. Minister for Transport Botsa Satyanarayana, who is also president of the state unit of Congress, dismissed the allegations that the CBI was biased in its probe in various cases of corruption.
He said all were equal before the investigating agency. "Whoever has done wrong will be brought to book. It does not matter whether he is a minister or an IAS officer," he said.
Former minister and Congress legislator J.C. Diwakar Reddy remarked that IAS officers were not kids to sign wherever the ministers want. "I agree that there will be some influence of the ministers on IAS officers but there will be no pressure on them," he said. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) asked the IAS officers to reveal the names of corrupt ministers.
TDP leader Y. Ramakrsihnudu said the allegation by the officers made it clear that frauds were committed between 2004 and 2009. "The cabinet of YSR was collectively and individually responsible for this fraud," he said.
After YSR's death in 2009, the CBI took up investigations into some projects cleared by his government. Besides the Emaar-APIIC township and illegal mining, the CBI is probing the alleged illegal assets of YSR's son Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.