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Thursday, May 19, 2022

The case of stolen evidence from court: Two rivals, new minister and a Reddy face

Fifty-seven-year-old Govardhan Reddy was recently inducted into Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Cabinet after a reshuffle, and the defamation case against him was filed by former TDP minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy in December 2017.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad |
Updated: April 19, 2022 10:37:45 am
Fifty-seven-year-old Govardhan Reddy was recently inducted into Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Cabinet after a reshuffle.

On April 13, a bag containing a laptop, iPad and three cellphones, all part of “evidence” against the newly inducted Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister Kakani Govardhan Reddy in a forgery and defamation case, was stolen from the fourth additional judicial magistrate’s court in Nellore.

Fifty-seven-year-old Govardhan Reddy was recently inducted into Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Cabinet after a reshuffle, and the defamation case against him was filed by former TDP minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy in December 2017.

Govardhan Reddy had accused Somireddy of amassing assets worth Rs 1,000 crore, including properties in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Son of local Congress leader Ramana Reddy, Govardhan has been in politics for almost 20 years and is a two-time MLA from Sarvepalli Assembly constituency in Nellore district.

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An engineer and civil contractor, he won Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies elections in 2006 as a Congress candidate, and went on to serve as a ZP Chairman for Nellore until 2011. He was also a member of the state executive committee of the Congress party in united Andhra Pradesh.

Contesting on a YSRCP ticket in 2014, he won the Sarvepalli seat in the state elections by a margin of 5,744 votes. He was the YSRCP Nellore district convenor at the time. In 2019, he got re-elected to the Assembly from the same constituency, defeating the TDP’s Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy by a margin of 13,866 votes.

He was expecting a ministerial berth when Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy formed the government in June 2019, but didn’t get it. On April 10, he was appointed Agriculture Minister in the mid-term reshuffle. He is learnt to have got the post as the CM wanted representation from the Reddy community in the Cabinet. He also grabbed the Chief Minister’s attention by aggressively promoting government schemes.

“He is always among people. He is a hard worker and has done good work in the constituency. He keeps tabs on delivery of government welfare schemes and ensures all eligible beneficiaries get it,” said YSRCP Nellore Rural party in-charge K Giridhar Reddy.

In December 2017, Kakani called a press conference and showed several documents as proof that the then TDP agriculture minister Somireddy Chandrashekar Reddy had amassed wealth amounting to “thousands of crores” and that the money was invested in several countries.

Later, Somireddy filed a case at Nellore Rural Police Station claiming that Govardhan Reddy had forged the papers. He also filed a defamation case against Govardhan Reddy the same year.

Following the robbery on April 13, the police said that two persons had been arrested and the laptop, iPad, and mobile phones had been recovered from the accused.

Nellore District Superintendent of Police C Vijaya Rao said that the accused had initially “intended to steal iron bars from a godown near the court”. “They found dogs there and so they broke into the court and found the bag containing the electronic gadgets. They disposed of the documents outside and made away with the electronic gadgets.”

Dismissing Govardhan Reddy’s connection to the incident, MLC Balli Kalyan said the former was “not the kind to interfere with the law and the theft of evidence should not be linked to him.”

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