Jagan DA case: IT mini Ponnala appears before CBI

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Information Technology Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah today appeared before the CBI in connection with a case pertaining to alleged illegal assets involving YSR Congress party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy even as the agency continued for the fifth day the custodial interrogation of the Kadapa MP.

CBI which had summoned the minister is likely to examine him over the Government Orders (GOs), issued during 2004-09 by the Irrigation department, when he was the Major Irrigation minister in the cabinet of late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, on supply of water from river Krishna and Kagina to some cement companies, which in turn allegedly made investments in Jagan-owned businesses.

Before proceeding to the CBI office at Koti here, Ponnala told reporters that he will reply to all queries of the agency. "I respect the law and will cooperate with the investigating agency…I have not done anything wrong." Ponnala is among the six Andhra Pradesh ministers who were issued notices by the Supreme Court in March, seeking their stand on the charge about their alleged role in the case against Jagan.

The central agency which has so far arrested Jagan, his financial advisor V Vijay Sai Reddy (currently out on bail), former AP Minister Mopidevi Venkatramana Rao, industralist Nimmagadda Prasad and senior bureaucrat K V Brahmananda Reddy in the case has also quizzed two other AP Minister including Sabitha Indra Reddy and Dharmana Prasada Rao over the controversial GOs. The CBI, in the meanwhile continued questioning of Jagan after taking his custody from the Chanchalguda jail where he is under judicial remand till June 11. The five-day CBI custody period will expire today.

The CBI, in its three chargesheets filed against Jagan and others, said he and his father had hatched a conspiracy to defraud the government with Jagan influencing Rajasekhara Reddy in doling out certain favours to various investors, who made investments of several crores into Jagan`s businesses (at very high premiums) as a quid-pro-quo basis.