Congress leader seeks CBI probe against Andhra chief minister

March 22nd, 2012 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, March 22 (IANS) In a dramatic development, Congress leader P. Shankar Rao has filed a petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe against Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy in what he described as the “red sander scam”.

The former minister also wants a probe against state Forest Minister S. Vijayarama Raju and 12 others, including top officials.

Red sander, found mostly in southern India, is a hard fragrant timber and is in huge demand in several countries.

Shankar Rao, who was dropped from the state cabinet in January, alleged that the chief minister issued three orders for export of 2,022 tonnes of red sander in violation of the central government’s ban on its export.

He claimed that it is a Rs.500 crore scam and the three government orders benefited relatives of the chief minister and a company from Singapore.

The petition is likely to come up for hearing Monday.

This is the first time that a Congress leader has made allegations of corruption against the chief minister and has even approached the high court.

It was on the basis of a letter written by Shankar Rao that the high court had last year ordered a CBI probe into the alleged illegal assets of Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, son of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

Another of his letters was also treated as a writ petition and the court ordered CBI investigation into the Emaar-APIIC township scam.

Both the cases are under investigation and the CBI has also made some arrests.

Shankar Rao had last year also filed a petition seeking probe into allegations of corruption against Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy and Excise Minister Mopidevi Venkatramna but the plea was dismissed by the court.

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