Congress questions massive increase in Jagan's assets

Congress questions massive increase in Jagan's assets

Congress questions massive increase in Jagan's assets

The ruling Congress Saturday questioned the increase in the riches of its expelled member Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy -- from Rs.77 crore in 2009 to over Rs.400 crore in 2011 -- as revealed by the former MP in an affidavit.

The Congress said Jagan, as he is popularly known, who floated the YSR Congress party last month, owes an explanation to people as to how he amassed such huge wealth in a short time.

Jagan, son of former chief minister Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy, declared movable assets of Rs.365.68 crore and immovable property of Rs.8.35 crore, while his wife Bharati has assets of Rs.41.33 crore in an affidavit filed Friday while submitting his nomination papers for the May 8 by-election to Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, which he represented before quitting.

"It is only the tip of an iceberg," said party spokesman Tulsi Reddy, commenting on the affidavit. "Even with this affidavit, the entire state is shocked and people have their doubts on how he got the amazing property in such a short time. He owes an explanation to people," Tulsi Reddy told reporters in Hyderabad.

He pointed out that in 2009 Jagan had declared assets of Rs.77 crore while in 2004 as per the Income Tax returns he had property of only Rs.1.74 crore. Congress leaders including Health Minister D.L. Ravindra Reddy, who is contesting against Jagan, alleged that the latter had not declared all his assets which run into thousands of crore rupees.

Ravindra Reddy said Jagan was penniless in 1999.  "The affidavit itself is a proof of his ill-gotten wealth. People will teach him a lesson in the by-election," the health minister told reporters in Kadapa.

The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has been targeting Jagan, accusing him of amassing huge wealth through misuse of power between 2004 and 2009 when his father was the chief minister. After Jagan quit the Congress in November last year, the ruling party trained its guns on the 38-year-old businessman. A state minister has even approached the Andhra Pradesh High Court, seeking a probe into Jagan's wealth.

The TDP has termed as "meager" the assets declared by Jagan and alleged that he was hiding much more wealth. Party general secretary Varla Ramaiah claimed that two houses of Jagan in Hyderabad and Bangalore alone were worth Rs.450 crore.

"Even if one goes by his latest affidavit, his assets have gone up 400 times in only six years. No Indian industrialist has made such a huge wealth in a short span of time," said Ramaiah.