This is the most viral message in Andhra Pradesh today – something really huge is going to happen on 22nd November in the state. In fact, most social media handles of TDP supporters have changed their display pictures or made posts about 22nd November. So! What is it that they are predicting?
22nd November is a Friday and it has been a meme content for a while now about how Andhra Pradesh CM Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has to attend High Court at Hyderabad, every Friday. The legal team of Jagan has however filed an affidavit seeking relaxation of the rule saying he is in a responsible position and he being away from the state would hamper the development. They went ahead to argue that his each trip costs up to Rs 60 lakh and it would become an additional burden on the state which is already under a lot of financial pressure. Despite all these arguments, the CBI court upheld the view that the chief minister has to attend court and that he is more powerful now and capable of influencing the witnesses. The court also opined that he is attending the court at an individual capacity and not as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. It would be an understatement to say that this was a big blow to the morale of Jagan and the YSRCP cadre too.
While this has been two weeks ago, Jagan Mohan Reddy hasn’t been attending the court still. His legal counsel has been filing ‘absent petitions’, once because a central minister was visiting him at Amaravathi and the next time due to a personal reason. Very interestingly, Jagan Mohan Reddy was very much in Hyderabad last week attending a wedding. 22nd November would be the third week and it is being speculated that if Jagan fails to attend this week, his bail would be canceled.
Earlier, the court, when the lawyers asked for an exemption stating that he is a state chief minster, clarified that everyone is equal before law and that a few officers who were party to his alleged crimes are now working with him. Despite such an unexpected tough stance by the court, Jagan seems to be playing a risky gamble by being absent for two weeks in a row. Also, the current political situations at the center seems to be not going in the favour of Jagan. Just on Sunday, it was reported that MP Vijaya Sai Reddy, was chastised by none other than Home Minister and supreme power of BJP, Amit Shah. Vijaya Sai Reddy apparently brought up the topic of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s cases during the Parliamentary Meeting when they were discussing about cases against former union minister for finance, Chidambaram. His pleas about giving a respite to Jagan Mohan Reddy were brushed off! It may be re-called that the MP himself is a co-accused in the quid-pro cases in which Y S Jagan is implicated.
Speculations are also rife that Jagan Mohan Reddy is preparing his Y S Bharati wife to take the baton, if things sway in an unfavourable direction. It is being said in the political circles that Bharati is getting trained at their Tadepalli residence. On the other hand, many seniors in YSRCP are gloating to journalists ‘off-the-record’ that their name is in the list of probable next chief minister of AP.
Just last week, Y S Jagan who has been the chief guest at the Kaleshwaram has written to the center requesting not to give national status to the irrigation project. Political pundits, analyse this move as an indication to center that his camaraderie with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasehkara Rao is over. While Jagan’s coterie is hoping that this would pacify the centre, who are not very comfortable with the bonding of the chief minsters in the Telugu land. They are hoping that they expect the court to go soft on Jagan, at least for a while.
Meanwhile, Jagan’s legal team is hoping that he would heed to their advice and attend the court on 22nd November. Opposition party TDP leaders are betting more on Jagan Mohan Reddy’s adamant behaviour than the court being under political pressure. What does Friday beckon? Will it be a relief for Jagan or a dawn of unexpected political activity in the state! Till, Friday, it would be a wait and watch game.