Hyderabad, Jun 8 : The CBI, which is probing the corruption charges against YSR Congress Chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, on Thursday “questioned” Andhra Pradesh Information Technology Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah for over eight hours.
After being summoned, the Minister appeared before the agency which questioned him regarding the Government Orders (GOs) issued during 2004-09 by the Irrigation Department, when he was the Major Irrigation Minister in the cabinet of late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, on supply of water to manufacturing plants of some cement firms. These firms allegedly made investments in Jagan's businesses.
The Minister arrived at the CBI office at Koti here around 10.45 am and left at around 7.10 pm. He did not speak to the media.
It was unclear whether the Minister would appear before CBI tomorrow, as it was believed that he would resume his campaigning in Warangal district for the coming by-poll for Parakal Assembly seat.
It was learnt that senior IAS officer Adityanath Das, who was the then Principal Secretary of Irrigation, was also quizzed with regard to the GOs.
Ponnala is among the six Andhra Pradesh Ministers who were issued notices by the Supreme Court in March seeking their stand on the allegations about their alleged roles in the corruption case against Jagan.
The central agency, which has so far arrested Jagan, his financial advisor V Vijay Sai Reddy (currently out on bail), former AP Minister Mopidevi Venkatramana Rao, industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad and senior bureaucrat K V Brahmananda Reddy, has also quizzed two other AP Ministers—Sabitha Indra Reddy and Dharmana Prasada Rao—over GOs that allegedly benefited some companies.
The CBI chargesheets allege that Jagan and his father had hatched a conspiracy to defraud the government, and the firms receiving government favours would invest in Jagan's companies as a quid pro quo.
The five-day custodial interrogation period of Jagan ended today, and the CBI took him back to Chanchalguda jail where he is under judicial custody till June 11.
CBI is likely to file a petition tomorrow in the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking further extension of Jagan's custody, for questioning him further.