Hyderabad: Almost two months after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed its first chargsheet, the agency arrested Congress rebel and Kadapa member of Parliament (MP) Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in a disproportionate assets case linking his growth in income to attracting quid pro quo investments into his companies during the time his father was Andhra Pradesh chief minister.
The investigating agency is probing whether Reddy has amassed wealth by attracting investments into his companies in return for doling out favours in the form of land allotments, mining leases, contracts and concessions to private entities and individuals during the chief ministership of his father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, popularly known as YSR, during 2004-09. YSR died in a September 2009 helicopter crash, a few months after he brought the Congress party to power for a second consecutive term in the state.
“Unethically, CBI has taken, in the name of investigation, (Jagan Mohan Reddy) into custody,” announced Jupudi Prabhakar Rao, a member of the legislative council, emerging from the CBI office on Sunday. The arrest came at 7.20pm on the third day of questioning. “This is sad. It is improper to arrest him at 7.20pm a day before he was to appear before a court,” he said.
Reddy is due to appear before a CBI special court that issued summons to him and other accused in the case in Hyderabad on Monday.
V. Vijay Sai Reddy, the financial advisor to YSR family; dissident Congress MP Sabbam Hari, and some of his close aides, who were present at the CBI office, were informed the businessman-politician would be taken into custody. CBI officials asked them to pass on the message to Reddy’s lawyer and family members. Once they arrived, he was formally arrested.
One of the richest MPs in the country with declared assets worth Rs.365 crore in 2011, Jagan Mohan Reddy formed the YSR Congress party after he broke away from the Congress owing to differences with the Congress party’s leadership in November 2010.
“Why are the central and state governments after my son?” an emotionally upset Vijayamma asked after meeting him. “He has been cooperating with CBI for three days. Why then was he arrested?”
CBI has filed two additional chargesheets after the first one filed on 31 March, in which it identified Reddy as the first accused. The first information report was filed on 17 August. The agency has arrested businessman Nimmagadda Prasad; Andhra Pradesh’s former excise minister Mopidevi Venkataramana Rao, who was infrastructure and ports minister in YSR’s cabinet; auditor Sai Reddy and bureaucrat K.V. Brahmananda Reddy in the case so far. CBI officials did not comment on the arrest at the time the story went to press.