Hyderabad: YSR Congress party chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, or Jagan as he is popularly called, on Monday completed one year in jail in a disproportionate assets case. The member of Parliament from Kadapa was arrested by the CBI on this day in 2012.
The YSR Congress party has announced two-day protests from Monday, over what it calls the continued undemocratic detention of its leader. The party plans to hold candlelight marches across the state. A rally is planned for Monday evening at Necklace Road in Hyderabad.
Party leader Sobha Nagi Reddy believes Jagan's arrest is a part of a political conspiracy hatched by the ruling Congress and main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), using the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as a tool to settle political scores. However, both the Congress and TDP believe Jagan was suffering as he plundered public wealth when his father YS Rajasekhara Reddy was chief minister 2004-09.
The CBI, which has so far filed five charge sheets against Jagan and others, has charged him with entering into a criminal conspiracy with his father to dole out favours to companies and individuals, who invested in his business under quid pro quo deals. The central agency is likely to file three to four more charge sheets.
The courts refused to grant bail to Jagan on many occasions in the past year. The Supreme Court, in its order early this month, said he may apply for bail after the CBI completes its investigations in four months.
Jagan's political rivals accused him of running party affairs from jail. About a dozen legislators and some key leaders of both the Congress and TDP joined YSR Congress after meeting Jagan in the Chachalguda Jail here during the last one year. Though Jagan's mother YS Vijayamma and sister Sharmila are trying to keep the party afloat, their biggest worry is what might happen to the party if Jagan does not emerge from jail before assembly and general elections, both of which will be held in 2014.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu believes even if Jagan gets bail, he would not be able to impact the poll outcome. "You have seen what happened in Karnataka. People are fed up with corruption. They have decided to punish the corrupt," said Naidu, while predicting that the YSR Congress would meet the fate of parties launched by former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and former Karnataka minister and jailed mining baron G Janardhana Reddy.
Born on December 21, 1972, in Kadapa district, Jagan is the only son of YSR. A graduate in commerce, he entered into business at a young age. He is married to Bharathi Reddy and has two daughters.
Jagan, who has interests in mining, cement, power generation and media, launched a newspaper and TV channel in 2008 to further his political ambition. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 when his father retained power in the state for second term.
However, YSR's death in a helicopter crash in September 2009 changed his world. The 41-year-old quit the Congress after the leadership turned down his claim to the chief minister's post. He floated the YSR Congress and was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from Kadapa in the byelection.
Jagan had then declared assets of Rs 365 crore, making him one of the richest politicians in the country. However, trouble began for him in 2011 when the high court, on a letter from Congress leader P Shankar Rao, ordered a CBI probe into his disproportionate assets.