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Storm brews in Andhra Cong
After CBI grilling, Jagan arrested in assets case
High alert sounded across state
To appear before CBI court today
Suresh Dharur/TNS

Oppn defaming me

They do not want a third political force to emerge in the state. They are bent upon eliminating me politically. ó YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

Key charges

The charges against him are that he had misused his late fatherís official position to attract investments into his businesses in return for doling out favours such as land allotments and mining leases

Richest MP

As per the latest Lok Sabha records, Jagan is the richest MP with the declared assets of Rs 365.68 crore. He had floated several companies dealing with power, infrastructure, cement, real estate and media sectors. His rise has been phenomenal. So were the controversies surrounding him.

Hyderabad, May 27
After intense grilling for three days in a row, the CBI today arrested the YSR Congress Party President and MP YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in a disproportionate assets case.

The 38-year-old Jagan, son of former Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy, is scheduled to appear before the special CBI court here tomorrow. The dramatic arrest, ahead of the June 12 by-elections, may well turn out to be a game-changer in Andhra Pradesh politics.

The case involving the flamboyant MP has major political ramifications in a state which is already reeling under political instability and prolonged uncertainty over the Telangana statehood issue.

High drama preceded the CBIís formal announcement of Jaganís arrest. He was interrogated for nearly nine hours today in the presence of his lawyers. The Dilkushan Guest House, where the CBI has been conducting interrogations, was turned into a virtual fortress with heavy police deployment.

Fearing violent backlash from Jaganís supporters, the government sounded high alert across the state. Prohibitory orders were imposed in several cities and towns across the state while security was beefed up at his residence here. The Rapid Action Force and quick response teams have been put on alert. Security was tightened in Jagan's native district of Kadapa.

The bus service was suspended in several towns while several YSR Congress Party leaders were put under house arrest.

It was yet another gruelling day for Jagan as the CBI sleuths questioned him regarding the investments that had flown into his business ventures between 2004 and 2009 when his father was the CM.

The political impact of the arrest is expected to be felt in the June 12 by-elections to 18 Assembly seats and Nellore Lok Sabha constituency. Even the die-hard optimists in the ruling Congress concede that Jaganís party will virtually sweep the by-polls seen as ďsemi-finalsĒ before the 2014 Assembly elections.

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Jagan Reddyís rise was meteoric
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, May 27
The arrest of the president of the YSR Congress Party and MP, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, by the CBI in a disproportionate assets case may well turn out to be a game-changer in Andhra Pradesh politics.

The 38-year-old industrialist-turned-politician is the son of the charismatic Congress leader and former Chief Minister, late YS Rajasekhar Reddy.

From a small-time realtor, who used to occasionally help his father during poll campaigns, to a high-profile industrialist with interests in power, infrastructure, cement and media sectors, Jaganís rise has been phenomenal. So was his tryst with controversies.

The growth of his business empire is only matched by the brazenness of his political ambitions. Soon after his fatherís death in a helicopter crash in September, 2009, an emotional campaign was launched to anoint him as the Chief Minister. However, Jaganís claim to be the sole inheritor of his fatherís political legacy was rejected by the party high command. As a result, he quit the party and launched his own political outfit and retained the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat in the recent byelection by a record margin.

The well-groomed management graduate has been harping on the sympathy card.

Business empire

According to an affidavit submitted before the Election Commission in April this year, Jagan declared his assets worth Rs 365.68 crore. This makes him the richest MP in the current Lok Sabha.

In April, 2009, he had declared that he possessed assets worth Rs 77.40 crore. This means that his assets have since grown nearly five fold in just two years. As per the income tax returns submitted in 2004, when he was yet to enter politics, the assets in his name were worth just Rs 9.18 lakh.

Typically, Jaganís business empire is a network of closely held family companies with cross-holdings in Sandur and Jagati. His key strategy has been to offload the shares in his companies to mobilise funds for investments in new projects to rake in huge profits.

The crux of the charges against him is that he had misused his late fatherís official position to attract investments to his businesses in return for doling out favours such as land allotments, irrigation contracts and mining leases. It is these investments, particularly in Jagathi Publications, that the CBI has been probing thoroughly. As many as 26 GOs, issued during YSRís regime to dole out favours to certain individuals and companies, have now come under the CBI scanner.

Nurtured in a feudal political culture of the faction-ridden Rayalaseema region, where loyalties and rivalries run through generations, Jagan started floating companies in 2002-03, an year before his father steered the Congress to power. He bought shares that would later fetch him a controlling stake in the companies.

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