Thursday, Nov 21, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
Raising the issue during zero hour, Congress and CPI(M) members referred to the report of the inquiry conducted by the Principal Secretary and tabled in the House today and demanded suspension of the official. They said the Minister was going back on his promise of action against the guilty official after the completion of the inquiry.
The Minister said the managing director was repatriated to the parent department and efforts were being made to recover Rs. 58 lakhs. Necessary action would be taken soon, as the procedure involved was long. Dissatisfied the Congress members were on their feet and said the Minister's response was vague and charged him with launching a cover-up operation.
The Leader of the Opposition, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, wondered why the Government was reluctant to take action. Was it because the official was a personal secretary to him ? Not only in the House but even in the meeting with the Speaker, K. Pratibha Bharathi, in her chambers, the Minister promised to take action. The Home Minister, T. Devender Goud, and the Finance Minister, Y. Ramakrishnudu, were present at the meeting.
The Congress members were joined by the BJP floor leader, N. Indrasena Reddy and the CPI(M) leader, N. Narasimhaiah, in demanding suspension of the official. All of them said transfer or repatriation was not a punishment. In fact the Minister promised to transfer him on the day the issue was first raised.
The Minister repeated the assurance he gave earlier and said proceedings would be initiated against the official. The Opposition was not convinced. They wondered why the Minister was not coming up with a firm response. Merely transferring the official would send a wrong signal.
The issue would have dragged on but for the intervention of the Finance Minister, Y. Ramakrishnudu. He said firm action would be taken against the official and the House would be informed about it in a day or two.
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