CBI questions Andhra minister in Jagan case

Hyderabad, March 20: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday questioned Andhra Pradesh cabinet minister Mopidevi Venkatramna and a top bureaucrat for four hours over the alleged illegal assets of YSR Congress party leader and MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.

The excise minister and Manmohan Singh, principal secretary (housing), were interrogated over certain decisions taken by them during the tenure of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

Mopidevi was minister for infrastructure and investment and Manmohan Singh the secretary in the department when decisions were taken allegedly to favour a company which invested in the businesses of Jaganmohan Reddy, son of Rajasekhara Reddy.

The CBI questioned them with regard to three government orders relating to concessions given in land allotments to Vanpic Projects Pvt Ltd.

Emerging from CBI’s camp office at Lakeview Guest House Tuesday evening, Mopidevi told reporters that he was summoned only as a witness.

“They asked certain questions and I have replied to them,” he said, while refusing to go into details.

Mopidevi is the first minister to appear before CBI in the case. With this, the federal agency has intensified its probe to file a chargesheet next month.

Vijay Sai Reddy, the auditor of Jagan’s companies, was arrested by CBI Jan 2. He is the only accused to be arrested. Under rules the agency has to file a chargesheet within 90 days.

Mopidevi is one of the six ministers and Manmohan Singh one of the eight Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers who were issued notices by the Supreme Court March 12.

They were asked why their role should not be probed with regard to the 26 government orders issued during the tenure of Rajasekhara Reddy (2004-09).

YSR, as Rajasekhara Reddy was known, died in a helicopter crash in 2009.

The orders allegedly benefited companies in the form of lands and licenses, and they invested huge money in the businesses owned by Jagan under a quid pro quo arrangement.

The CBI had booked a case against Jagan and 70 others in August last year on the direction of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

IANS