Jagan to blame Cong: ‘poll funds’

Assets case * May claim money raised was used to finance Cong’s 2009 poll campaign

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad | Published:April 2, 2012 2:22 am

Facing arrest by the CBI,Y S Jaganmohan Reddy has reportedly threatened to announce that a large sum of the money that his family allegedly made when his father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was the chief minister — by allotting land to some corporates and individuals as part of a quid pro quo deal that they would invest in Jaganmohan’s businesses — went into the Congress’s coffers for financing the 2009 general elections and the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections the same year.

While the Congress returned to power in Andhra Pradesh,it won 33 Lok Sabha seats from the state.

On Saturday,the CBI apparently tried to detain Jaganmohan,who is touring Guntur district in coastal Andhra,before filing its chargesheet against him and 12 others on charges of amassing illegal assets by influencing YSR when he was chief minister (from May 2004 to April 2009 and from May 2009 to September 2009 when he died in a helicopter crash). But Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy reportedly warned that it could lead to a law and order situation,and may also result in a wave of sympathy for the MP from Kadapa and president of the YSR Congress party.

Sources in the YSR Congress party said that if Jaganmohan’s arrest becomes imminent,he may try to put the Congress party in the dock by claiming that large portions of the money went into the party’s coffers to finance the polls.

Initially,Jaganmohan,who has a large following in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions,was reported to have been reluctant to announce that YSR gave illegal funds to the Congress. However,the arrest of his close confidant,V Vijay Sai Reddy,in January this year,and the chargesheet against him on Saturday,with details of cheque numbers and banks,seem to have changed his mind.

Jaganmohan’s PA,Nageshwara Rao,who is touring with him,said he was not available for comment.

Jaganmohan may now be summoned — not arrested — either on Tuesday or Friday,to explain the investments made by Hetero Drugs,MKSS Software,Aurobindo Pharma Ltd,and several others in Janani Infrastructure — a company owned by him. Janani Infrastructure is reported to have invested the money in Jagathi Publications,Jaganmohan’s flagship company behind Sakshi Telugu daily and Sakshi Telugu news channel.

In its chargesheet against Jaganmohan and 12 others,the CBI has cited 23 instances of investments made in his businesses by parties which received land or other concessions from the Andhra Pradesh government. The CBI has listed the companies,details of 23 cheques,dates on which they were issued,banks and branches,the amount,and the beneficiaries (Jagathi Publications and Janani Infrastructure).

Officials said this was only the first part of the chargesheet and investments made by many other companies —through Indian and foreign banks — in Jaganmohan’s businesses were under scrutiny.

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