Andhra chief minister denies links with disgraced Satyam chief

January 11th, 2009 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga RajuHyderabad, Jan 11 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Sunday denied allegations of his links with Satyam Computer Services founder Ramalinga Raju, and said he felt sad the day the company’s disgraced former chief admitted committing a massive fraud.”These are senseless and baseless allegations. You cannot expect me to react to them,” Rajasekhara Reddy told a news conference here when asked about the opposition parties’ allegations that he too was involved in the scam.

“The current opposition leaders are the kind that they will blame me even if their wives do not have breakfast after a quarrel with them the previous night,” he quipped.

The chief minister reiterated that it was his predecessor N. Chandrababu Naidu who promoted Raju during his tenure. “When the then US President Bill Clinton came here nine years back, Naidu made Ratan Tata sit in the audience and made Raju sit beside Clinton,” YSR recalled.

“Though there were allegations that Naidu held major shares in Satyam, I did not say anything against him as an opposition leader.”

Rajasekhara Reddy said Rajus were very much from the state and they were till the other day a leading industrial house in the state. “That remains a fact,” he observed when a reporter said there was speculation that Ramalinga Raju was close to the ruling party.

When asked what he felt personally after hearing about the scandal, he said he felt bad. “I felt very very bad personally also. It was just unimaginable. Figures are mind-boggling. I was really sad the day when I came to know about it,” he said.

The chief minister denied that he had any suspicion about Raju. “No, in fact, they brought projects, especially 108 ambulance service. He pioneered Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI). We were very enthused about it. They did it as a voluntary job.”

“The innovative ways they tried to project and their work, no one really had imagined this,” he said.

The chief minister recalled that the government wanted to extend 108 service to the entire state, and came forward to bear 95 percent of the cost. Satyam undertook five percent contribution to EMRI.

“After the fraud came out, there were doubts about 108. The common man was also worried. I told EMRI management that we will continue the work. If you cannot raise the five percent contribution, the government will provide it,” he said.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Politics |