Congress MP K.V. P. Ramachandra Rao was subjected to eight-hour-long questioning by a CBI team at its camp office at Dilkusha Guest House here on Saturday in connection with the ongoing inquiry into the assets of Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and other related cases.
It is understood that Mr. Rao, who was a close associate of the former Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, was questioned about various decisions taken during the latter’s tenure from 2004 to 2009 benefiting certain industrial groups and their investments in Jagan’s companies as part of quid pro quo arrangements.
The CBI team was headed by Joint Director V.V. Lakshminarayana.
The Rajya Sabha member drove into the guesthouse around 11 a.m. and came out only at about 7.30 p.m. Responding to queries from media persons, Mr. Rao just said he was called by the CBI as a witness and that he had fully cooperated, answering questions to the best of his knowledge.
When asked, if he was asked to return for another examination, Mr. Rao declined to reply and got into his car.
Mr. Lakshminarayana said that Mr. Rao was summoned under Section 160 of the Cr.P.C. and that he would be called again if the investigation warranted it. Asked about the filing of the final charge-sheet, he said that in tune with the Supreme Court directions, they would do it only after the investigation was complete.
The timing of the summons to Mr. Rao has raised eyebrows in political circles as he was left untouched all through the CBI investigations so far, except once, in connection with a case over possession of a villa in Emaar township here.
Speculation was rife that he was spared as he continued to be in Congress and did not shift his loyalties to his close friend’s son, Jagan’s party.
In a sheer coincidence, Mr. Rao’s appearance before the CBI came on a day when the Congress had finally moved a petition before the Assembly Speaker, seeking the disqualification of nine MLAs and an associate member, for defying the party whip and voting against the government recently.
Meanwhile, some members of the Telangana Advocates Joint Action Committee, led by its president Sriranga Rao staged a dharna at the guesthouse demanding that the MP be arrested.
They argued that he could not be called merely as a witness as he played a key role in all the decisions taken by YSR, some of which also benefited him, they alleged.
They were bundled into waiting police vans and taken away even as they wanted to submit a report to the CBI.