CBI teams on Thursday raided several places, including the residences of YSR Congress president Jaganmohan Reddy and the Andhra Pradesh home secretary in connection with the former's disproportionate assets case.
The Andhra Pradesh high court had ordered investigation into the matter on a petition by handloom and textiles minister Shankar Rao, who had alleged Jaganmohan's assets had grown to Rs 43,000 crore from R11 lakh in seven years.
Thirty teams of officials also searched various offices of Jaganmohan, his associates, investors in his companies and government officials in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Kolkata, Rajkot and Mumbai.
In Hyderabad, the CBI searched Jaganmohan's 60-bedroom Lotus Pond house in posh Banjara Hills, the residence of his sister Sharmila, the offices of his Sakshi newspaper and TV channel, and the premises of some companies run by him as well as those that supposedly benefited during the chief ministership of Jaganmohan's father, the late YS Rajasekhar Reddy (YSR).
The CBI also raided the residence of home secretary BP Acharya in connection with the Emaar case, in which state-owned Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) allegedly suffered a loss of more than Rs 1,000 crore. Acharya was managing director of APIIC when all major land allotments to companies including Dubai-based Emaar were done.
Emaar, which got land for developing a prestigious township, reduced APIIC's equity in the joint venture by roping in another company.
When contacted, Acharya refused to talk, saying, "I am busy."
The Enforcement Directorate may soon start investigation against Jaganmohan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Supporters of Jaganmohan, who was earlier a Congressman, termed the CBI raids a "conspiracy" against him.
"People are watching. This is a conspiracy against the family of YSR. The Congress will have to pay a heavy price for this," said MLA Sobha Nagi Reddy.
Another Jagan supporter Balineni Srinivas Reddy, MLA, said the CBI should conduct raids on those who were ministers in YSR's cabinet, alleging they acquired huge wealth then.
With inputs from New Delhi