The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government Thursday cancelled a controversial government order issued by the previous Chandrababu Naidu-led dispensation, paving the way for the CBI to probe various cases in Andhra Pradesh.
On November 8, 2018, the ruling Telugu Desam Party had issued a government order (GO) withdrawing the "general consent" accorded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to carry out investigations and raids in the state.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, the government hereby withdraws the general consent accorded (in GO Ms 109) to all the members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise the powers and jurisdiction under the said Act in the state of Andhra Pradesh," the GO had said.
The then Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister (Home) N China Rajappa had said the reason to withdraw the consent was allegations against the top officials of the country's premier investigation agency.
The Andhra Pradesh government bestowed powers upon itself to launch a corruption probe against central government employees as well through the state's Anti-Corruption Bureau.
The YSR Congress Party that assumed power on May 30, issued a fresh order Thursday cancelling the GO 176 issued on November 8.
Based on the directions of Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, Special Chief Secretary Manmohan Singh issued GO 81 to this effect.
"The order issued on November 8, 2018 is hereby cancelled under the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946," it said.
The CBI will now have all powers to take up corruption and other cases in AP.
The premier investigative agency functions under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
Under Section 6 of the Act, a state government "routinely" grants consent to the CBI for exercising its authority in the state and the AP government, too, had issued relevant orders periodically.
Ever since he snapped ties with the Narendra Modi-led NDA government in March last year, Naidu had been alleging that the Centre was misusing agencies like the CBI to target political opponents.
The raids by Income Tax authorities on some business establishments, run by those close to the ruling Telugu Desam Party in the state, had left Naidu red-faced.
Subsequently, he announced that his government would not provide police cover to the IT officials for conducting the raids.
The state government's move was seen as further intensification of confrontation between the Modi government and Naidu, who was striving to forge a non-BJP front to take on the saffron party in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Opposition parties decried the move and asserted the state government did not have the authority to bar the CBI.
The YSR Congress, the main opposition party then, had alleged the controversial decision was taken only because the chief minister was scared of the CBI.