The buzz in the political corridors was that this was waiting to happen. The CBI special court in Hyderabad has frowned upon YS Jaganmohan Reddy skipping court citing official engagements and has asked the Andhra Pradesh chief minister to attend court proceedings on 10 January. Jagan is Accused number 1 in the disproportionate assets cases.
Since November, for the past ten Fridays, Jagan has been seeking exemption. That has now come to an end unless the YSRCP president manages to get a legal reprieve from the High court.
Jagan attended court every Friday when he was Opposition leader barring the time when he was injured after the knife attack on him inside Visakhapatnam airport in September 2018. When he was on his 3600 km long padyatra from Kadapa to Srikakulam, he would take a day’s break every week to travel to Hyderabad. But as CM, Jagan has studiously avoided appearing in court perhaps mindful of the negative optics it will generate.
Along with Jagan, even Vijaysai Reddy who is Accused number 2 will have to attend the trial. Vijaysai Reddy is a Rajya Sabha MP and YSRCP general secretary and the pointsperson of the party in New Delhi.
Jagan’s counsel had cited a figure of Rs 60 lakh that will be spent everytime the CM has to travel to Hyderabad for the court appearance. That plea was rejected when the court insisted on Jagan’s personal appearance last year.
There is speculation that if Jagan continues to block the CBI court’s diktat, the CBI could then move to demand cancellation of bail that was granted in 2013. Jagan had then spent over a year in Hyderabad central prison.
Categories: Jaganmohan Reddy