YSR Congress protests CBI searches on Jagan (Lead)

August 18th, 2011 - 6:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 18 (IANS) Terming as “political vendetta” the searches by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at the homes and other properties of its chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, YSR Congress party Thursday staged protests in Hyderabad.

Leaders and activists of the party raised slogans against the Congress government even as CBI officials were searching the residence of Jaganmohan Reddy at Lotus Pond in Banjara Hills.

Reacting sharply to the searches, the fledgling party warned that the Congress would have to pay a heavy price for the witch-hunt. It also demanded CBI searches on those who served as minister in the cabinets of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

The CBI Thursday began searches after Andhra Pradesh High Court gave it the nod to launch a full-fledged probe into Jagan’s alleged illegal assets.

The MP’s supporters also staged a protest at Punjagutta in the heart of the city. They burnt an effigy of Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy.

Protests were also reported from Kadapa, the native district of Jagan and other parts of the state.

Legislator Shoba Nagi Reddy told reporters outside Jaganmohan Reddy’s residence that he was being targeted for leaving the Congress party.

Jagan, as the son of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy is popularly known, quit the Congress party in November last year as he was being sidelined following the death of his father in a helicopter crash in 2009.

The young leader floated the YSR Congress party and was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from Kadapa with a massive majority in the by-elections in May this year.

“People of the state are watching as to how Congress is treating the family of the great leader who brought the party to power. They will give a befitting reply as they did in Kadapa,” Shoba said.

Another leader, Gattu Ramchandra Rao, said Jagan was being harassed for leaving the Congress. “Rosaiah got a clean chit because he is in the Congress and Jagan is being targeted as he quit the party,” he said.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) recently gave a clean chit to former chief minister K. Rosaiah in a land case.

“When the government can arrest Anna Hazare and lodge him in Tihar Jail, it can’t be unexpected,” said Ramchandra Reddy, when asked if he feared Jagan’s arrest.

Another leader, Ambati Rambabu said the cases filed against Jagan in the high court were politically motivated. He wondered how the court could order a probe on the basis of a letter by a minister. “If the same yardstick is applied, a CBI probe has to be ordered against every top politician,” he said.

The high court also permitted CBI to conduct searches in another case relating to alleged irregularities by Dubai-based realty major Emaar in building a township in Hyderabad.

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