Andhra Pradesh opposition to launch anti-corruption struggle

December 22nd, 2008 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyHyderabad, Dec 22 (IANS) The opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh Monday decided to launch a joint struggle to “expose corruption” in the Congress government in the wake of the arrest of a Fisheries Department engineer and recovery of Rs.300 million from him.The pressure is mounting on the Congress government to act against the ministers and senior officials allegedly involved in the murky deals of executive engineer V. Suryanarayana.

Though Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Saturday ordered a judicial probe into the issue, the opposition parties found fault with him for giving a clean chit to ministers and chief secretary.

“How can he give a clean chit to ministers and chief secretary even before the probe began?” asked leader of opposition and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu.

The leaders of TDP, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Monday held a meeting at the TDP office and decided to wage a joint struggle.

They demanded that the government call an all-party meeting Tuesday to discuss the issue.

“If the government fails to call the meeting, we will bring the issue to the governor’s notice,” Naidu told reporters.

The former chief minister reiterated that the Congress government was “neck-deep in corruption”.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ch. Vidyasagar Rao said the probe by a retired judge was not enough and demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.

Telugu superstar-turned-politician Chiranjeevi also came down heavily on the government for the corruption in the wake of the engineer’s arrest. “Those in the government are accused and they are also the judges,” he remarked while addressing a public meeting in Medak district Monday.

The president of Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) was referring to the clean chit given by the chief minister to ministers and senior officials.

The latest allegations of corruption might snowball into a major scandal and embarrass the Congress government in the run-up to the state and national elections, likely to be held in March-April next year.

Suryanarayana allegedly enjoyed patronage of ministers and the chief secretary during the last 12 years in committing irregularities. The executive engineer, the value of whose assets seemed to be going up each day, has been placed under suspension.

The ministers and officials allegedly helped him in knocking away lucrative government contracts in different departments. He reportedly used all means to win the contracts.

An Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court Monday denied bail to Suryanarayana. The special court in Vijayawada rejected his bail petition.

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