Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy was on Tuesday grilled by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about the flow of funds into his companies, Janani Infrastructure, Jagathi Publications and Indira Television that run Sakshi and the news channel respectively.
While Jagan was being questioned in one room of the CBI's office in Koti, Congress MLA from Kakinada (Urban) Dwarampudi Chandrasekhara Reddy, a director in Janani Infrastructure and Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, promoter of RR Global and Editorial Director of Sakshi publication, were examined separately.
The CBI's strategy in seeking custody of Jagan seems to be falling into a pattern of questioning him and his business associates on different issues outlined in the charge-sheet each day. On the first day, focus was on Vanpic, followed by his examination on Sandur Power the second day.
On the third day, the objective was to extract information on investments into his infrastructure and media companies. V. Vijay Sai Reddy, financial advisor of Jagan group of companies, was also called in for questioning.
Sources said Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy was questioned for 40 minutes by the CBI, who sought information about valuation of Jagathi Publications. Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy reportedly said he had little knowledge about financial matters as Vijay Sai Reddy handled the subject.
With regard to the undue favour shown in form of release of advertisements to the Telugu daily when YSR was Chief Minister, Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy is said to have defended it on the grounds that Sakshi had filled the vacuum in the Telugu newspaper market with its large circulation. He reportedly said that the then government had not gone out of the way to help the newspaper. He was also quizzed on the flow of money from RR Global into the companies owned by Jagan. It is believed that the CBI had not recorded his statement. He is likely to be summoned again in four or five days.
Mr. Chandrasekhara Reddy is believed to have clarified to the CBI that he had facilitated purchase of land for setting up of Sakshi editorial and printing units in several districts. The CBI officials of Hyderabad and Bangalore were said to have employed cross interrogation and confrontation methods during their grilling armed with recorded statements of some evidences and documentary proof. Joint Director V.V. Lakshminaraya joined the questioning only in the evening.
A friend of Jagan and the proprietor of MBS Jewellers here, Sukesh Gupta, was interrogated by CBI for nearly ten hours in connection with the alleged hawala transactions of the latter to route investments into the Kadapa MP's businesses.
Sources said Mr. Gupta was alleged to have brought back the money of Jagan from overseas in the form of gold and reinvested the same in his companies to make it white. Both of them were classmates in childhood.