To assume full control of YSRC as party chief Jagan is unlikely to be released in near future

This day (April 9) in 2003 was special for the Congress in general and former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in particular. For, YSR, as he was popularly known, launched a 1,500-km padayatra from Chevella in Ranga Reddy district which swept him to power.

Exactly 10 years down the line, his widow, Vijayamma, is all set to begin a new innings by assuming complete control of the YSR Congress in the absence of its president and son Jaganmohan Reddy. Ms. Vijayamma will step into the shoes of Jagan not by choice but compulsion as it was clear in the past few weeks that the CBI will take its own sweet time to complete investigation into the cases against the Kadapa MP.

Party’s fears confirmed

The filing of the fifth charge-sheet by the CBI against Jagan on Monday confirmed fears of the party that its leader was not likely to be released from jail in the near future. The agency did not frame charges in half-a-dozen issues which are under its scanner, dropping hints that they would be looked into with a microscope as was done on Monday in the case of Dalmia Cement. “Perhaps, it might even take seven years,” a counsel for Jagan remarked.

It was on August 13 last year that the CBI filed the fourth charge-sheet against the Vadarevu and Nizampatnam Port and Industrial Corridor Project (Vanpic) promoted by industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad. After eight months, the agency has now framed charges against Dalmia Cement which was accused of investing in the companies of Jagan.

There still remains to be judged the role of Sandur Power owned by Jagan himself, Bharati Cement of his wife Bharati, Penna Cement, India Cement, Lepakshi Knowledge Hub promoted by Indu Projects and Investments through ‘paper companies’ in Mumbai and Kolkata.

The past eight months were marked by intense speculation whether the CBI would complete investigation into all seven issues, including Dalmia Cement, in one go and present to the court a single charge-sheet but that was set at rest on Monday. The agency has now indicated that it will file charge-sheets separately into the rest of the issues which might take an indefinite period.

Jagan’s counsel admitted to The Hindu that the Supreme Court had not asked a single charge-sheet to be filed into all the aspects. What the apex court suggested when Jagan moved the bail petition was that he could seek relief after the entire investigation was over. On the other hand, CBI joint director V.V. Lakshminarayana has always maintained that there was no time limit for the completion of the probe.

In these circumstances, Vijayamma gave a call to the party cadre to wash YSR’s statues with milk and take up padayatras on April 9.