The Supreme Court on Thursday denied bail to YSRC president and MP Jagan Mohan Reddy in alleged illegal assets case.
A Bench comprising Justice P Sathasivam and Justice M Y Eqbal also dismissed the bail application of Nimmagadda Prasad, an industrialist and accused No 3 in the case while it cancelled the bail already granted to V Vijay Sai Reddy, accused No 2 in the case.
However, Justice Sathasivam directed the CBI to complete the investigation and file the chargesheet(s) within a period of 4 months. Thereafter, the appellant is free to renew his prayer for bail before the trial court, he added.
The Supreme Court verdict, meanwhile, triggered a serious debate among YSRC leaders over the impact of the protracted imprisonment of party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Squabbles among leaders are growing in the fledgling party and some seniors worry that Jagan’s absence might be a setback for gearing up leaders and cadres for the ensuing local body and general elections. Their argument is that as Jagan could not look after the party affairs directly, leaders aspiring for party nomination for the 2014 polls might indulge in infighting, harming the electoral prospects of the party.
However, party honorary president YS Vijaya Lakshmi and Jagan’s wife Bharati exuded confidence that Jagan’s protracted imprisonment would only help YSRC become more strong.
“No doubt, Jagan has been imprisoned for political reasons. The CBI is resorting to political witch-hunt against our family for Jagan quitting the Congress. It is evident from the way the PIL was filed against Jagan’s assets by a Congress leader and the way the CBI is trying to drag the investigation for months,” Vijaya Lakshmi and Bharati told Express here on Thursday. The duo said though they were saddened by the apex court’s rejection of bail to Jagan, they had not lost heart.
“I am sure the imprisonment of Jagan would help the party leaders as well as the people of the state to unite and wage a collective battle against the state government, which failed on all fronts. Even a child knows Jagan has been implicated in a political case,” Bharati said.
She wondered how CBI lawyer Ashok Bhan could say that they might need more time to investigate the case even after the expiry of four months time set by the apex court, just moments after the court verdict.
“This remark of Bhan shows clearly the malafide intent of the CBI against Jagan. Though Jagan never stepped into the secretariat and called up any minister during the regime of the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, the CBI wrongly framed charges against him over the 26 GOs released during YSR’s government. As this case is a politically motivated one, the CBI is doing its best to please its masters,” said Bharati.
According to Bharati and Vijaya Lakshmi, the YSRC would sweep the 2014 polls as people are fully backing Jagan in the ‘holy war’ against the Congress regime.
“There are two reasons why the YSRC would win the 2014 polls hands down. One is people see a hope in Jagan as they believe that he would bring back the golden regime of YSR. Another is people understood that Jagan has been politically victimised,” Bharati said.
She wondered how the CBI could allow the ‘tainted’ ministers charged by it to continue in office as they had the capacity to alter evidence. On the other hand, Jagan, an opposition party leader had been languishing in the prison, she said.
She claimed that days after Jagan formed his own party by coming out of the Congress, Union minister Veerappa Moily threatened in a TV show saying the Congress had many weapons to deal with those who differ with it. What Moily told her was happening now in Jagan’s issue, she added.
Meanwhile, Vijaya Lakshmi too felt that the YSRC would put up a good show in the 2014 polls even if Jagan is not released, as it did during the bypolls to 18 Assembly segments.
“The YSRC will emerge as the winner after 2014 polls with the overwhelming support of the people. Other parties will have to compete for the second place,” she said.
Asked about the growing internal squabbles, she said as they had appointed coordinators for each constituency, there were minor differences among leaders. However, these organisational lapses would be rectified as the polls approach, she added.