Despite a court convicting Intermediate and Secondary Education minister Parthasarathi for violation of provisions under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) and punishing him with 2 months jail time and a fine, the Congress party has decided to not remove him from the cabinet.
Earlier, the Congress high command asked the Chief Minister to remove the Minister as it would reflect badly on the party to have a convicted minister in the Cabinet. However it is now believed that the CM has prevailed over the High Command by playing the “BC Card”. Parthasarathi belongs to a backward cast community and the CM is under the impression that removing Parthasarathi would severly impact the party as already another BC leader, Mopidevi Venkatramana is in jail in relation to the Jagan disporportinate assets case.
The Minister too has been arguing that there is nothing morally wrong with what he did and as the court had already permitted him to approach the High Court, he should only be seen as guilty if the High Court confirms the verdict.
However, the congress party clearly now need to consider how they will consider an economic offence as not being morally wrong while the CBI builds a case of large-scale economic crimes and corruption against Jagan Mohan Reddy.