Hyderabad: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here Friday began questioning YSR Congress Party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy in the illegal assets case amid speculations that he would be arrested.
Jagan, as the young leader is popularly known, reached Dilkusha Guest House, the camp office of the CBI, amid tight security at 10.30 a.m. A team of CBI officials led by joint director V.V. Lakshminarayana began questioning him.
Jagan was seen entering the guest house with a smile on his face and greeting the officials with folded hands. He was accompanied by Alla Nani, the Congress legislator from Eluru, and some close aides.
The usually busy Raj Bhavan Road, where the guest house is located, has been sealed by police.
Hyderabad is virtually under police siege with deployment of forces at several places to avert any law and order problems in the event of Jagan’s arrest. Prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more people have been imposed in the city and other parts of the state.
Dozens of Jagan supporters were arrested by the police in various districts since Thursday night as they were heading for the state capital.
This is the first time since the CBI registered a case of assets disproportionate to income against Jagan and 71 others in August last year that Jagan has appeared before the investigating agency.
The MP from Kadapa has appeared before the CBI a day after Excise Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana was arrested in the same case.
Police have made elaborate security arrangements around the guest house, where Jagan is being questioned about the investments made into his companies by the firms which allegedly received land, licenses and other concessions from the government when his father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was the chief minister. Rajasekhara Reddy died in a chopper crash in September 2009.
The CBI, which has so far filed three charge sheets in the case, alleged that Jagan conspired with his father to dole out favours to certain companies under quid pro quo arrangement.
The federal agency is questioning Jagan three days before he is scheduled to appear before a CBI special court.
He is likely to be questioned in the presence of Venkataramana, who was arrested Thursday for his role in issuing orders as minister for infrastructure and investment in the YSR cabinet, leading industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad and bureaucrat K.V. Brahmananda Reddy. All the three are currently in CBI custody.
Earlier in the morning, Jagan left his residence at Lotus Pond in the posh Banjara Hills area for the guest house amid tight security. A large number of Jagan’s supporters had gathered at his residence to show solidarity with him.
The young leader took the blessings of his mother Vijayamma. His sister, wife and other family members saw him off. Those present at the house included Jagan’s aide and auditor Vijay Sai Reddy, also an accused in the case who was recently released on bail.
Police have also imposed prohibitory orders in Jagan’s native district Kadapa and several other places in the state to prevent any untoward incident.
Jagan, who was busy campaigning for the party in June 12 by-elections to one Lok Sabha and 18 assembly seats, had reached Hyderabad Thursday night.