Former Andhra minister joins YSR Congress

    By IANS,

    Hyderabad : Former Andhra Pradesh minister and Congress party leader Mopidevi Venkata Ramana joined the YSR Congress party here Friday.

    He took the membership of YSR Congress in presence of party president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.

    Venkata Ramana was released on bail last month after spending more than a year in jail in a disproportionate assets case involving Jaganmohan Reddy.

    Talking to reporters, he accused the Congress of using him as a pawn to implicate Jaganmohan Reddy in corruption case and said this was the reason for his quitting the party.

    He alleged that the Congress government wanted to arrest a minister in the case and it chose him as he hails from a backward class.

    The CBI had arrested Venkata Ramana May 24, 2012. He was serving as the excise minister then, but resigned the next day.

    The CBI charged him with violating rules while allotting land and extending some concessions to Vanpic, a mega port and infrastructure project promoted by industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad.

    Prasad allegedly invested in the companies owned by Jaganmohan Reddy.

    Venkata Ramana was then holding infrastructure and investment portfolio in the cabinet of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, father of Jaganmohan Reddy.

    The court in September released Jaganmohan Reddy on bail.