'We aren't corrupt'

Highlights

- Dharmana and Sabitha meet CM, explain their version - Previous resignations not accepted as CM convinced...

- Dharmana and Sabitha meet CM, explain their version - Previous resignations not accepted as CM convinced of their innocence - Claim they went by rulebook, rue becoming scapegoats - Dharmana leaves for Srikakulam to chalk out future course - Sabitha tells followers not to take out rallies and call bandh

sabithaHyderabad : The high voltage drama that began on Sunday night after the two ministers Dharmana Prasada Rao and Sabitha Indra Reddy had had a 45-minute long meeting with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy took a curious turn on Monday evening.A Both of them met the Chief Minister at his camp office once again on Monday and later told the media that they stand by the resignation letters they had submitted in the past and reiterated that they had done no wrong in discharging their official duties.

Dharmana had resigned on August 14, 2012 when his name figured in the charge- sheet filed by CBI in Vanpic lands procurement case. Sabitha had resigned on April 8 when her name figured as accused in the mining lease of lime stone quarries to Dalmia cements. Thanking the Chief Minister for strongly believing that they had done nothing wrong and that they would abide by the directives of the party high command they said they would be available for the party to utilize their services in any manner it deems fit.

Both the leaders are said to have told their colleagues who met them on Monday morning that they had become victims for the mistakes committed by somebody. Dharmana feels that he would not have had to face this kind of embarrassment if Kiran had accepted his resignation which he had submitted in August 2012. The sudden decision to ask him to resign was nothing but humiliation, he is learnt to have told his associates. He felt that he had become a scapegoat.

Dharmana said that he would fight his case in a court of law and would come out clean. He said, "I did not hide anything in regard to allotment of lands to Vanpic. The CBI alleged that I had violated certain rules but did not allege that I was involved in quid pro quo. They raised only some technical issues," he said.

He said that all lands were allocated as per rules and after the cabinet had approved them. "Land allocation was not an individual decision. I did not take any decision on my own. As a minister I cannot take decision if the land value is more than Rs two lakh. All proposals were sent to Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and he had put them before the cabinet," Dharmana said.

He further said, he had examined all the records and was satisfied that there was not a single decision which was against the rules. All decisions were that of the cabinet but when his name figured in the charge-sheet he resigned since he did not want to cause any problem for the party. Later, Dharmana left for Srikakulam and would be participating in his birthday celebrations where he would be addressing a huge public meeting.

Sabitha too said that she had done no wrong and in last three years as a responsible minister had fully cooperated with the CBI. She said she did not violate the rules. She expressed relief that her one-month-long tension had come to an end. "I did not want to cause any problem for the party and hence I had resigned on April 8. Our names figure in the charge-sheet since we had put our signatures on those orders. We are not corrupt or tainted. Please do not use such words. We feel hurt," she added.

She further said that the limestone mines to Jaya Mines were issued as per rules and procedures and the lease was later transferred to Ishwar Cements.A She said she would fight the case legally and was confident that she would come out clean.

According to a source, Chief Minister told these ministers on Sunday night that the impression he had got from the high command was that they were convinced by his argument that the ministers had done no wrong. But after he returned to Hyderabad, he was informed that the high command had decided that they be dropped. However, her supporters did not take this lightly.

A large number of them gathered in front of Sabitha's home and raised slogans against the government and announced that they would take out a huge rally to Gandhi Bhavan on Tuesday and would observe bandh of Ranga Reddy district today. However, Sabitha appealed to her followers not to take out any rally or hold bandh. They also gheraoed Labour Minister D Nagender when he went to call on her. Addressing them, Nagender said that if the resignations were accepted all those who signed on the 26 controversial GOs should also resign.

Meanwhile, ministers Erasu Prathap Reddy, Kondru Murali Mohan and Vatti Vasanth Kumar called on Dharmana at his residence here and reportedly expressed their solidarity with him. Ministers Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, N Raghuveera Reddy and Danam Nagender met Sabitha. A On the other hand, former and current PCC chiefs D Srinivas and Botcha Satyanarayana respectively met the Governor separately.

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