Testing time for YSR Cong as Jagan languishes in jail

Testing time for YSR Cong as Jagan languishes in jail

Testing time for YSR Cong as Jagan languishes in jail

With the Central Bureau of Investigation making it amply clear that Kadapa MP and founder of YSR Congress Party, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy will be staying behind the bars at the Chanchalguda central prison for a longer period, the political atmosphere in the state is once again charged up.

In a further embarrassment to the Kiran Kumar government in Andhra Pradesh, state’s home minister Sabita Indra Reddy has been named accused number 4 in the latest chargesheet filed in the Jagan Mohan Reddy’s disproportionate assets case. The additional chargesheet disappointed YSRC, which was hoping for a single and final chargesheet as per SC’s directions, paving the way for Jagan’s bail.

The CBI joint director Lakshminarayana said in unequivocal terms that the CBI will be submitting a series of additional chargehseets in the coming days, pertaining to each one of the issues that the central agency is investigating. The CBI also made it clear that the agency has never given an assurance that it would file a final chargesheet as the investigation is complex and involved a plethora of companies domestic and foreign, ministers and private individuals.

The fifth chargesheet alone has 62 pages, 53 documents and CBI says they had examined 46 witnesses. It has named 13 accused including Jagan Mohan Reddy as accused number 1. The other accused are Vijay Saireddy, Dalmia Cements MD Puneet, Sabita Indra Reddy, suspended IAS officer Srilaxmi, former mines director VD Rajagopal, and other officials of Raghuram Cements, Ishwar Cements and Dalmia Cements.

The Congress-led Kiran Kumar Reddy’s government, which is technically in minority, thanks to the desertion of MLAs loyal to late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, has some breathing time, delaying the prospect of facing a free and rejuvenated Jagan. The Congress as of now is comfortable facing a naïve and docile Vijayamma, Jagan’s mother and Jagan’s sister Sharmila, a political novice.

Self-goal

With at least three of his ministers including a home minister under CBI scanner and one in the jail, Kiran Kumar is left pondering whether the Congress has hit a self-goal by rising the quid pro quo issue which ricocheted onto his own cabinet members who were ministers in YSR government and signed the controversial government orders without thinking twice. “How can a minister who signed the document  be innocent and a person like Jagan who held no position in the government jailed for almost a year without bail?,” asks YSRC senior leader Ambati Rambabu.

The YSRC honorary president and mother of Jagan, YS Vijayamma holds Congress high command, as well as Kiran Kumar responsible for hampering the judicial process against the accused in the disproportionate assets case. “Why the CBI is singling out my son while the chief minister is not allowing a prime accused and minister Dharmana Prasada Rao to be questioned, though he is accused number 5 in the chargesheet relating to the Vampic property case?” she asks.

Taking advantage of his political backing, Rao has now approached the Andhra Pradesh high court, pleading that proceedings against him be quashed as the state has not given the sanction to prosecute him.

With Jagan in jail and the rudderless YSRC appearing to be losing the steam midway, there seems to be a political realignment of forces based on caste in the highly stratified society of Andhra Pradesh. There is disillusionment in the Reddy caste, which stood by the Congress till the death of YSR Reddy. After Sabitha was named in the new chargesheet, suspicion is growing that Congress has stopped banking on its traditional vote bank and is craving for a honeymoon with the Kapu community.

Elevation of Chiranjeevi to Delhi politics and appointment of Botsa Satyanarayana (also a kapu) as APCC chief are seen as a counter to the dissertation of Reddy leaders from the Congress. Immediately after Sabitha’s name appeared in the chargesheet, many YSRC leaders approached her and advised her to quit Congress and join YSRC.

But further delay in Jagan’s release might adversely affected the prospects of YSRC as the party was banking mainly on legislators from other parties rather than creating its own brand of new leadership. With the legislators shifting loyalties and Jagan’s troubles unlikely to end soon, a section of Congress cadres is now rethinking on their moves.

Meanwhile, Jagan Mohan Reddy has filed a fresh bail application in the Supreme Court. This is his sixth attempt at getting bail and the second time he has approached the Supreme Court to grant him bail in the disproportionate assets case. “The main contention in the bail application is that the CBI has misled the court and violated the SC order that had asked it to file a consolidated chargesheet,” said Jagan Mohan Reddy’s advocate Ashok Reddy.

The Kadapa MP has applied for bail twice at the CBI special court at Nampally, twice at the AP high court, and has now approached the Supreme Court for the second time. He had recently filed a memo on the fifth chargesheet and asked the court to treat it as a final chargesheet.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)