The CBI today arrested YSR Congress Party chief and Kadapa MP Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy after three days of questioning in the disproportionate assets case registered against him. Jagan Mohan,40,is accused of using the office of his chief minister father,the late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy,between 2004 and 2009 to further his business interests and to amass more than Rs 20,000 crore illegally.
The CBI had begun the probe after the Andhra Pradesh High Court order on August 11,2011,based on writ petitions by the Telugu Desam Party and former Congress minister for textiles P Shankar Rao.
The CBI arrested Jagan Mohan under the Prevention of Corruption Act,Money Laundering Act,cheating,and others sections of the IPC.
The Andhra Pradesh Police has thrown a security blanket across the state to prevent any law and order situation. Jagan Mohan will spend the night at the CBIs field office at Dilkusha Guesthouse,where he was questioned earlier in the day,and will be produced before the CBI court on Monday.
The CBI is learnt to have informed the Lok Sabha Speaker,the Centre and the state government about Jagan Mohans arrest minutes before taking him into custody.
His mother Y S Vijayalakshmi said that in Jagan Mohans absence,she and his wife Bharathi Reddy would campaign for the June 12 by-elections to 18 Assembly constituencies and one parliamentary seat. Vijayalakshmi accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi of orchestrating the CBI inquiry and the arrest because Jagan Mohan went against her wishes and started his Odarpu yatra to condole families of those who died after hearing of YSRs death.
On August 10,2011,the CBI had filed the FIR against Jagan Mohan and 12 others stating that he had entered into a criminal conspiracy with his chief minister father. According to the CBI,the late YSR and some public servants had then abused their positions to issue orders favourable to some companies,which had in turn invested in Jagan Mohans firms,causing wrongful loss to the state government.
The CBI said it was a quid pro quo the companies and individuals that benefitted from the YSR governments decisions invested more than Rs 1,000 crore in Jagati Publications,Sandur Power Co Ltd,Carmel Asia Holdings Pvt Ltd,Bharathi Cement Corp Ltd and other companies owned and promoted by Jagan Mohan by buying shares at a very high premium. Jagati Publications publishes Telugu daily Sakshi and runs Sakshi TV.
The FIR also names V Vijay Sai Reddy,industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad and directors and promoters of several other companies.
Speaking to newspersons before going in for questioning today morning,Jagan Mohan accused the CBI of prolonging the questioning. They want to keep me away from campaigning. The Congress already knows what would be the result in the elections, he said.
It was earlier expected that Jagan Mohan would be arrested only after he had appeared before the CBI court on Monday,May 28. However,according to sources,it was Jagan Mohans do whatever you want attitude while being questioned by the CBI that finally led to his immediate arrest.
Jagan Mohan is learnt to have countered CBI officicals questions with many of his own,including: Why are you not investigating Eenadu newspaper?; and Are you going to check each and every government order issued by the N Chandrababu Naidu government too?. He claimed he was in Bangalore when decisions by the YSR government were taken and that he couldnt be expected to know that those who invested in Sakshi benefited from those decisions.
Apparently the CBI was in two minds over arresting Jagan Mohan,given his popularity and the coming by-elections that he is expected to sweep. Initially,the plan was to question him,file a fresh chargesheet once they had their answers and to arrest him only when they were on a firmer footing.
Sources said that on the first day of the questioning on Friday,Jagan Mohan was a little open,but as soon as he understood that the CBI and Enforcement Directorate were confronting him with evidence or statements made by those already arrested,he stopped cooperating.
The CBI now hopes to get more answers from Jagan Mohan once they have him in remand.