An earlier blog detailed how only officers are being held responsible for massive corruption scams in Andhra Pradesh. After that blog was posted, CBI filed its chargesheet in the EMAAR Land scam. In it's chargesheet, it named two serving IAS officers and a retired IAS officer. One officer, L.V.Subramaniam, is currently the Executive officer of TTD and was the MD of EMAAR when the initial deal was signed.
Couple of days after this chargesheet was filed, IAS officers were up in arms against this tirade by the CBI. More than 70 officers met the CM and complained to him about the witch hunt by CBI. They questioned him as to how fair is to blame only the officers while most of the decisions were political in nature. Later, the IAS officers explained the curious case of Mr. Subramaniam being chargesheeted when the entire Board was party to the decision with the chairman of APIIC (who is a politician) signing the minutes of meeting too!
The IAS officers merely demanded that the principles of natural justice be followed. Sadly for them, they are being led by a Chief Minister who cannot do anything about this. Apparently, the CM promised that he will see to it that "honest" officers are not subject to this tirade! What about the "honest" ministers in your cabinet, Mr. Chief Minister? Well, let's not get into that now.
It is common knowledge in AP that where there is land, there is a scam. Allegations fly thick and fast amongst political parties on who made more money. That kind of fight is expected.
However, what is disturbing (and frankly disgusting) is that members of this cabinet openly accuse Jagan Mohan Reddy of corruption. As recently as two days back, none other than the state Finance minister had this to say - "Those who looted the State are busy going around in the name of ‘yatras' " This finance minister was a minister in the YSR cabinet too. The congress chief of the state keeps on harping that Jagan looted a lot of wealth. So you see, the ruling party is itself agreeing to massive corruption yet is distancing itself from it !
Amidst this background, I totally express solidarity with the IAS officers. None of the scams that the CBI is probing could have happened without a go from the relevant political authority. If the officer is guilty, so is the political authority (minister, chairman, CM etc). If Ms. Srilakshmi is guilty of allotting land for mining, then so is the then mines minister, Ms. Sabita Indira Reddy. How fair is it that Ms. Srilakshmi is in jail and Ms. Sabita is the Home Minister of the state? How fair is it that Mr. Subramaniam is accused but not the then chairman? Many such questions - but the common thread is the same - the political authority led by YSR created this monster.
What is the result of this? "Decision making takes a hit in the state" !
Sadly, they apparently decided to petition the Prime Minister. We all know that both this Prime Minister and Chief Minister are not strong enough to pursue this any further - there is a higher authority that is driving this case!
In this fight, I wish to again express my solidarity with the IAS officers - they are not the only ones guilty.