Hyderabad: Surrounded by supporters YSR Congress chief and Kadapa MP YS Jagan Mohan Reddy reached the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters in Hyderabad on Friday morning where he will be questioned in connection with his alleged disproportionate assets case.
Prohibitory orders have been issued in Hyderabad as policy fear that Jagan's supporters could go on the rampage if he is arrested. His anticipatory bail petition was rejected on Thursday by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, hours after the CBI arrested state Excise Minister M Venkataramana.
The prohibitory orders under Indian Penal Code Section 144 banning assembly of five or more persons came into force at 6 am on Thursday. Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said the orders would be in force till May 29, a day after he is scheduled to appear in the CBI court. A large number of police personnel have been deployed all over Hyderabad to prevent any untoward incident.
There will be no permission for meetings, rallies and processions during the period. Police have launched checking of vehicles and frisking of people, especially at the entry points into the city.
The police commissioner said they had reliable information that "in view of forthcoming by-elections certain political parties are likely to organise large number of supporters in Hyderabad city limits, taking advantage of some local events to derive political advantage." In the emotionally charged atmosphere, large-scale mobilisation of people is likely to adversely affect maintenance of law and order, the police chief said.
Jagan has alleged that the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party along with the CBI are conspiring to arrest him and then create a law and order problem to postpone the June 12 by-elections to one Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly constituencies. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jagan alleged that a conspiracy had been conceived to trigger riots after his arrest and put the blame on him.
"Important thing is that they want me to be arrested. They are creating a law and order situation against me because it is very clear that the Congress is going out," Jagan said while speaking to CNN-IBN Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai.
Jagan is accused of conspiring with his father and late Andhra chief minister YS Rajashekhara Reddy to dole out favours to companies which invested in his businesses in a quid pro quo arrangement.
Jagan has become a big problem for the Congress and the TDP in the state since breaking away from the former and floating his own party. His YSR Congress is gaining in popularity across Andhra and many Congress MLAs, MPs and leaders are expected to switch side after the June 12 by-polls to 18 Assembly and one Lok Sabha seat.
Surveys indicate a massive victory for Jagan's party in the by-polls as the Congress is on the downswing and the TDP is also not doing too well. Jagan's party is cutting into the votebanks of both the Congress and TDP and the two parties have no leader to counter the YSR chief.
The Congress game plan is to arrest Jagan and prevent the decline of the party in the state, where it had done very well in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. The party wants to charge Jagan in many cases and scare away his supporters. The party is also likely to get a few Congress ministers arrested too in the disproportionate assets case and make it look like a fair investigation.