Andhra Pradesh School Education Minister Sake Sailajanath finds himself caught in an alleged money laundering scandal,exposed by Cobrapost online portal,embarrassing the Kiran Kumar Reddy-led Congress government.
While Congress is silent on the matter,opposition parties have demanded immediate action against the minister besides a thorough inquiry into the allegations of money laundering.
On his part,School Education Minister Sailajanath pleaded innocence and maintained that money laundering was too big a thing for a small person like him.
He,however,admitted that he did try to “help” his friend secure a bank loan and “just put in a word” to the bank officials.
The Cobrapost expose revealed that the minister agreed to stand guarantee for a Rs 25 crore hawala transaction in a supposed real-estate venture in temple-town Tirupati.
A local orthopaedic surgeon P Hariprasad,who Sailajanath said was his junior,was supposed to take up the real-estate venture.
The Cobrapost scribe,who posed himself as an investor (of black money),first approached a senior official of Indian Bank R Manohar in New Delhi and through him met Hariprasad.
Hariprasad and Manohar,who are said to be related to each other,took the scribe to Sailajanath,who agreed to “stand guarantee” for the investment.
All this was recorded on camera and posted on the Cobrapost website,causing further ignominy to the already beleaguered Kiran Kumar Reddy government with some of the ministers already under CBI scanner over the dubious deals during the erstwhile Y S Rajasekhara Reddy regime.
“Why is no action taken against Sailajanath despite the expose?” Telugu Desam Party official spokesman Kodela Siva Prasada Rao questioned.
He criticised the Congress,saying the party could not act against the tainted ministers in the state when it was unable to deal with such ministers at the national level.
CPM state secretary B V Raghavulu demanded a high-level inquiry into the allegations of money laundering against the minister.
CPI state secretary K Narayana and BJP state president G Kishan Reddy also demanded a thorough probe into the issue.