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Herculean task ahead for Jagan Mohan Reddy

Last updated on: May 27, 2012 21:51 IST

Herculean task ahead for Jagan Mohan Reddy

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru

The big question that everyone is asking is the timing of YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy's arrest. While there are many theories attached to it, the fact remains that Jagan's road ahead is tough, since the cases against him appear to be never-ending. Vicky Nanjappa reports.

Until now, the biggest apprehension for Jagan was his arrest, and since the past one year he was playing hide and seek with the Central Bureau of Investigation. If we take a look at the cases against him, it does not appear that he will be let off by the courts so easily and he may have to remain behind bars for quite some time.

On the party front, his mother Vijayamma is expected to play the lead role. Some in the political circles in Andhra Pradesh say that she may have an edge over Jagan, as she will not have to face the constant pressure of corruption cases against her, and she seems to have the emotional advantage.

A source said that she would need to be careful about the creation of power centres within the party. The return of Vivekananda Reddy, brother of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S R Rajasekara Reddy to the party may boost the chances of the YSR Congress, but could also create parallel power centres within.

Vivekananda, who had contested against Vijayamma and lost the elections had returned to Hyderabad three days ago, and met with Jagan and conveyed his readiness to join the party.

The biggest worry for the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh were the defections, and they may have stemmed this to a large extent with his arrest.

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Image: YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy arrives at the CBI headquarters in Hyderabad before his arrest
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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However, the problem is far from over and the results of the by-elections will be a deciding factor for many members of Legislative Assembly, who are waiting to cross over.

While these are worries on the political front, the bigger battle for Jagan would however be with the CBI. His questioning for the past couple of days was based on investigations conducted for over one year which involved illegalities worth thousands of crores of rupees.

Jagan may have been under the impression that his charismatic personality would tide him through the crisis, but what he was just not able to explain to the CBI was as to how he came about his current financial status in the past five years.

The CBI alleges that everything from giving out mining leases, allotments under the Special Economic Zone and by passing various norms for which he received favours are under the scanner.

The scam under question is close to Rs 2,600 crore and this is something that Jagan will need to account for in order for him to get out clean.

The CBI alleges that there were many decisions that were taken by YSR when he was the chief minister. All these have been construed as favours, which directly or indirectly benefited Jagan-owned companies.

The companies that have come under the scanner are Jagathi Publications, Raghuram Cements, Sandur Power Company, Carmel Asia, Red Gold Enterprises, Bhagavath Sannidi Estates among others.

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Image: YSR Congress President Jaganmohan Reddy with mother Vijayalakshmi


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Apart from this, the allegation is that Jagan also benefited from the various mining leases. Mining leases were given to the Obulapuram Mining Company, and in addition to this, 10,760 acres of land was granted.

The land was granted to construct a steel plant. It is alleged that a bribe of around Rs 50 crore was paid for this deal, which is also under the CBI's scanner.

The CBI decided to freeze the accounts of Jagan-owned companies. They are trying to locate the bribe money, say sources. It is alleged that crorers of rupees were paid as bribes, and were invested Jagan-owned companies.

At the moment, it is just the CBI which is probing Jagan. However Jagan will have face more music when the Enforcement Directorate comes into the picture.

The ED, which was not part of the questioning the past three days has in its possession records relating to benami companies that had been established in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka through which the money was channelised into Jagan-owned companies. Prior to his arrest, CBI sources had said that he was not cooperative.

"We needed a lot of clarification, but none of the answers were satisfactory. One among the many questions that were asked was regarding the Sandur Power Company which at one point was worth Rs 150 crore, which now stands at nearly Rs 800 crore," said a source.

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Image: The Obulapuram Mining Company


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It was alleged that the sudden turn took place once YSR became the chief minister. Jagan was asked about the details regarding the fictitious transactions through which he sold 82 lakh shares to various companies in which he had a stake.

The CBI alleges that the shares were fictitious and were sold at huge sums and this was just eyewash. Jagan, however, had no answers to these questions.

The actual questioning of Jagan will now commence once the court officially grants Jagan's custody to the CBI. Jagan's legal battle would commence with a bail plea and then he will have to face trial once the final chargesheet against him is filed in the next 90 days.


Image: Jagan supporters outside the CBI office in Hyderabad
Photographs: SnapsIndia
Tags: Jagan , CBI , YSR

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