YSR Congress chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s disproportionate assets case claimed its first victim with the CBI arresting state excise minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the special CBI court at Hyderabad rejected Jagan’s anticipatory bail plea. The Kadappa MP would now have to appear before CBI on Friday. On Wednesday, the Andhra Pradesh HC turned down his plea to delay appearance before the CBI till June 15.
Party leaders refuted the charge by the Congress and Telugu Desam Party that Jagan was afraid of being arrested. “He is not scared. He only wanted to be free to campaign for party candidates in the by-elections,” said a party leader.
Mopidevi, 48, was a close ally of Jagan’s father YS Rajasekhara and had helped in deals with the firms that funded Jagan’s companies.
The MLA from Repalle in Guntur district was arrested soon after he arrived at the CBI office for questioning and was later remanded in police custody till May 30. Later, he resigned from the government. His supporters have issued a call for a bandh on Friday.
The arrest has spread panic among the YSR era ministers and officers who favoured firms that invested in Jagan’s companies. Sources said five other ministers were on the CBI radar.