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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Deals struck in YSR’s time claim Andhra ministers now

Deals made during the tenure of late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy have come back to claim casualties among Andhra Pradesh ministers and bureaucrats.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad | Published: May 21, 2013 3:28:40 am

Deals made during the tenure of late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy have come back to claim casualties among Andhra Pradesh ministers and bureaucrats. Former Karnataka minister and mining baron G Janardhana Reddy’s deals,which included land and mining leases in Andhra Pradesh,have cost a minister her job while at least four IAS officers are under the CBI scanner. Janardhana Reddy was known to be close to YSR. Other deals struck during the latter’s regime have led to a minister’s resignation on Sunday and another’s arrest last year,besides taking their toll on half a dozen IAS officers.

The chargesheet that has led to the resignation of the state’s first woman home minister,P Sabitha Indra Reddy,was filed on April 8 in the CBI court. It was the fifth chargesheet by the CBI,which is investigating Y S Jaganmohan Reddy for amassing wealth allegedly by illegal means and using the influence of YSR,his father. The CBI charges her under IPC sections for criminal conspiracy,breach of trust by a public servant,and cheating,besides sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Calm and reserved,Sabitha had been noncontroversial through her 13-year political career — until this. She had joined the Congress after her husband,P Indra Reddy,a former TDP minister,died in an accident in 2000. She won from Chevalla in 2004 and was made minister for mines and geology.

The chargesheet says that from May 2004 to April 2009,she issued several government orders that helped Janardhana Reddy’s Obulapuram Mining Company,and cement firms including Raghuram Cements,which later became Bharathi Cements owned by Jaganmohan. Behind all these GOs and deals,the chargesheet says,were quid pro quo arrangements,and those who benefited went on to invest in Jaganmohan’s businesses.

Sabitha is also accused of signing in 2007 a GO that allotted 107 hectares in Anantpur to Obulapuram Mining Company. The chargesheet says it was put up by former secretary of mines Y Srilakshmi,who did not include the “captive mining” clause,and this allowed Janardhana Reddy to export iron ore instead of using it locally,as specified in the OMC’s initial proposal.

Another GO that went through Sabitha’s office allotted 409 hectares of limestone deposits in Kadapa to Eshwar Cements,which merged with and transferred the land to Dalmia Cements,which in turn invested Rs 95 crore Jaganmohan’s Bharathi Cements.

The chargesheet also names Dalmia Group MD Puneet Dalmia,Srilakshmi (since suspended) and former director of mines V D Rajagopal.

Dharmana Prasada Rao,roads and buildings,too resigned Sunday. He was named in an earlier CBI chargesheet. Prasada Rao was revenue minister in the YSR cabinet and the CBI investigated his role in allotting land to industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad for building Vanpic (Vadarevu and Nizampatnam Port and Industrial Corridor) across Guntur and Prakasam districts. The chargesheet said Rao facilitated the allotment of 15,000 acres at cheap rates. Nimmagadda went on to invest over Rs 600 crore in Jaganmohan’s Jagati Publications. When the Vanpic project failed to take off,Nimmagadda sold or tried to sell off portions of land at market rates. The CBI charged Prasada Rao under the same sections as Sabitha.

In May last year,the CBI arrested excise minister Mopidevi Venkataramana Rao. He had been minister for infrastructure and ports in the YSR regime and the CBI accused him of taking forward the Vanpic deal as well as pressing for the allotment of land to Nimmagadda Prasad. Prasada Rao was not arrested though he remaine under investigation; the CBI felt Mopidevi had played a larger role.

Other ministers under investigation for controversial deals and issuing GOs that allegedly involved quid pro quo arrangements with Jaganmohan include J Geeta Reddy (major industries),K Lakshminarayana (housing),and P Lakshmaiah (IT).

While former mines secretary Srilakshmi has been in and out of jail,other IAS officers under investigation for either allegedly abetting or not objecting to ministers’ decisions include B Sam Bob,Ratna Prabha,C V S K Sarma,S V Prasad,P Samuel and Manmohan Singh.

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