13 December was yet another Friday that YS Jaganmohan Reddy did not attend the CBI court in Hyderabad. The chief minister had reason to skip it as the Andhra Pradesh assembly was in session and in the second half of the day, he was the chief guest at an Andhra University event in Visakhapatnam.
Though Jagan used to attend court hearings every Friday when he was Leader of the Opposition, he has avoided them since May when he became CM. The court turned down his request to exempt personal appearance after which Jagan approached the High court. Jagan had cited both his busy schedule and expenditure as reasons why he cannot travel to Hyderabad every week for the court hearing.
But now the BJP demand to set up a CBI court in Vijayawada could put a spanner in the works. BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao has requested Union Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to do so in order to speed up the trial in the Rs 43000 crore disproportionate assets case in which Jagan is Accused number one and YSRCP MP Vijay Sai Reddy is Accused number 2.
The BJP’s keenness to put the Andhra Pradesh CM in a spot of bother has surprised political watchers since it was commonly believed that the saffron party would be more interested in putting Chandrababu Naidu in the dock. Naidu had gone to town, criticising Narendra Modi and Amit Shah and the spat had turned very personal. But in Amaravati, the buzz is that the CBI may push to cancel Jagan’s bail if he continues to avoid the trial process. The feeling is that the BJP is looking to weaken both the regional parties in Andhra Pradesh and create a political atmosphere of uncertainty.
Categories: Andhra Pradesh