Tainted ministers: Will Cong. lose AP?

Published on May 14 2013 // Featured, Political News

Hyderabad : Will Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy at least now take the cue from the developments at the Centre and sack the “tainted ministers” from his cabinet to salvage whatever little credibility left of his government before it is too late for the ruling Congress from being routed in the 2014 elections in the State? Or is he waiting to be spoon-fed by the High Command to act and thus earn the dubious distinction of being yet another nincompoop chief minister?

These questions are being heatedly debated in political circles here in the wake of the political developments, though not unexpected, that have unfolded in New Delhi and in the neighboring Karnataka. What is intriguing the political circles in the State is that despite the glaring and unambiguous warnings emanating from the outcome of the Karnataka polls, Kiran Kumar Reddy seemed to be holding on to Sonia Gandhi’s “pallu” for guidance to cleanse the stains, in the form of ‘tainted ministers’, of his ministry.

It is pertinent to note here that the BJP government in Karnataka was thrown out mainly because of its misdeeds and corruption charges. The Congress has, in fact, made the corruption charges against the BJP government as its main ammunition during the poll campaign to wrest power in that State.

Despite its resounding victory in Karnataka, the Congress in order to uphold the party’s credibility among the people did not waste any time in sacking two of its senior ministers — Law Minister Ashwini Kumar and Railway Minister Pawan Bansal from the Union Cabinet over corruption charges against them. With the UPA Government mired in numerous misdeeds and corrupt practices by the Union ministers, the Congress High Command, in order to prevent further erosion of the party’s image among the masses, had no other option but to show the door to two of its senior members from the Manmohan Singh ministry.

Thus against this prevailing quick-sand like political scenario, the Congress government in the State headed by Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, which has been rocked by tremors of corruption charges on a much higher Richter scale over the misuse of power by Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy during his late father YSR regime, has been put in the dock. As many as six ministers of the erstwhile YSR cabinet and who continue to be members of Kiran Kumar Reddy cabinet are accused of abetment to enable Jagan to amass illegal wealth. The CBI, which is investigating the disproportionate assets case of Jagan, has already filed charge-sheets against Jagan and others.

Among the six tainted ministers, Mopidevi Venkataramana is already in the jail, the names of Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao and Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy figure as accused in the charge-sheets of various cases. As a matter of fact, the Home Minister has been asked by the CBI Court to appear before it on June 7 while the Democles’ sword continues to hang over the heads of three other ministers Geetha Reddy, Kanna Laxminarayana and Ponnala Laxmaiah.

Though the Oppoisition parties have been hunting for the scalps of the five tainted ministers, who have yet to be arrested and sent to jail, by demanding their sacking from the cabinet, even the ruling Congress members have joined the chorus for dropping them from the cabibnet. The Chief Minister, on the other hand, has been reluctant to act and has been rushing to New Delhi to seek advice as to what steps he has to take.

The High Command, which is expecting the CM to act on his own, has been remaining non-committal, hoping that Kiran Kumar would set the house  in order without its intervention .After the BJP’s rout in Karnataka, senior Congress leaders in the State have been demanding for sacking of the tainted ministers. With the unceremonious exit of the two senior Congress ministers from the Union Cabinet, the demand for showing the door to the tainted ministers in the State increased. While senior Congress leaders like V. Hanumantha Rao, Palvai Govardhan Reddy, Paladugu Venkatrao  and others have vociferously demanded that the CM act forthwith to save the party’s image, the Telugu Desam leaders, including  its chief N. Chandrababu Naidu have even called on Governor ESL Narasimhan and wanted the tainted ministers be sacked.

What intriguing political circles is that Kiran Kumar Reddy was more busy in launching numerous populist schemes instead of cleansing his ministry by getting rid of the tainted ministers. Political circles feel that the CM has a very good opportunity to show his administrative and political acumen by not only sacking the tainted ministers, but also embark on a massive revamp of his cabinet by showing the door to his adversaries within the cabinet and induct in their place new and young blood. If the CM fails to act on his own even now, the High Command should at least intervene and install a new government headed by a dynamic and bold leader, who can lead the party in the 2014 poll battle lest the Congress would meet its Waterloo like that was witnessed in Karnataka.

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