YSR Congress Party chief and Lok Sabha member from Kadapa YS Jagan Mohan Reddy stepped out of the jail into the outside world for the first time in a month to cast his vote in the presidential election for which polling was held on the Assembly premises here on Thursday.
Jagan Mohan Reddy’s last visit to the court was on June 12 and ever since has been produced before the court twice but through video-conferencing.
And the young leader, who has been in jail for over 50 days in an alleged illegal assets case, virtually stole the show during his very brief stay at the polling station. The Assembly premises, which had witnessed a sombre mood since morning when polling began, suddenly came alive as soon as the word spread that Jagan Mohan Reddy had left the central prison in Chanchalguda and was headed to the Assembly to cast his vote following permission from the special court for CBI cases.
As directed by the court, the city police made elaborate arrangements to take Jagan Mohan Reddy to the Assembly.
A bullet-proof vehicle was arranged and a convoy of vehicles with personnel from the Task Force, AP Special Police and local police took positions by noon to transport the MP.
As the moment arrived, mediapersons entered into an argument outside the prison protesting that they were not being allowed to ‘capture’ Jagan on their cameras.
Police obliged them and ensured that the lensmen got a view of the MP. Around 11.45 am, Jagan came out of the prison and greeted the waiting mediapersons with his customary smile and folded hands. He was then made to sit in a bullet-proof black Scorpio vehicle and taken to the Assembly in a convoy of eight escort vehicles with heavy security along the route.
As soon as Jagan entered the Assembly premises around 12.20 pm, all the 17 MLAs of his party, including his mother Vijayamma, and the lone MP Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy surrounded him.
Vijayamma gave her son a smile which he returned fondly. Meanwhile, his party MLAs and MP shouted ‘Jai Jagan’ and ‘YSR Amar Hai’ and took him into the Assembly Hall for him to cast vote. Even policemen jostled with mediapersons to have a glimpse of the charismatic leader. Outside, police had a tough time controlling YSR Congress Party’s supporters who reached the barricades hoodwinking the police. Posing as motorists and members of the public, they managed to come near the Assembly and as soon as they reached the main gate they stopped their vehicles and shouted slogans in praise of Jagan. He was accompanied into the Assembly Hall by his party MLAs and MP who had till then not cast their vote as they waited for their leader to arrive.
After he had cast his vote, Jagan Mohan Reddy was driven back to the prison by 12.30 pm but not before his mother had planted an affectionate kiss on his cheek.