The question is- what exactly does the C is YSRCP stand for?
The subject of criminal politicians reappeared in public discourse amidst Y.S. Jagan Reddy’s war against the Indian judiciary. Y.S. Jagan Reddy has been bitterly criticized for having chosen to make public his letter to the Chief Justice of India in which he has accused Justice Ramana of several wrongdoings. The legal fraternity has across its spectrum branded Jagan Reddy as a tainted man casting aspersions on the conduct of the judiciary. Why has the legal fraternity questioned Jagan Reddy’s intentions behind throwing accusations at Justice Ramana? Let’s take a look at some facts.
Interestingly, releasing an order back in September, a bench headed by Justice Ramana had lamented the lack of substantial progress in the disposal of pending criminal cases against sitting/former legislators and asked for such cases to be fast-tracked. According to the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), about 65% (17) of ministers in the Jagan Reddy cabinet have criminal cases lodged against themselves, including charges of cheating, rioting, criminal intimidation, and bribery. Out of these, more than half (35%) have been charged with serious offenses. The Chief Minister, Jagan Reddy has a whopping 38 cases lodged against himself and served a 16-month prison term in the disproportionate assets case. Out of these 38 cases, 28 are serious offenses. Sixteen other ministers in the cabinet also have criminal cases lodged against themselves, out of which, four have been convicted in at least one case. The list of the ministers along with the number of cases lodged against each one of them is as follows:
Sankar Narayana Malagundla – 06
Kodali Sri Venkateswara Rao – 04 (convicted in one)
Amzath Basha – 03 (convicted in one)
Kurasala Kannababu – 03
Mekapati Goutham Reddy – 03
Mopidevi Venkata Ramanarao – 02
Balineni Srinivasa Reddy – 02 (convicted in one)
Perni Nani – 02
Velam Palli Srinivasa Rao – 02
Poluboina Anil Kumar – 02
Dr. Suresh Audimulapu – 02 (convicted in one)
Buggana Rajendranath – 02
Sucharita Mekathoti – 01
Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose – 01
Pamula Pushpa Sreevani – 01
Viswarupu Pinipe – 01
Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy (of the hawala racket fame) has a case of voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty. Minister for Industries, Commerce, & IT, Mekapati Goutham Reddy, has been charged with offenses such as criminal intimidation, forgery, trespassing, and cheating. Mopidevi Venkata Ramanarao (now elected to RS) has been booked for cheating and criminal breach of trust. Minister of BC Welfare, Sankar Narayana Malagundla, and Minister for Irrigation, Poluboina Anil Kumar have been charged for criminal intimidation. Minister of Transport, I&PR, Perni Nani has cases related to the destruction of land-mark fixed by public authority. Endowments Minister Velampalli Srinivasa Rao has been booked for cheating. Ironically, even the Home Minister, Sucharita Mekathoti has been booked for bribery.
At the national level, among the major parties, YSRCP holds the dubious distinction of having fielded for Lok Sabha the highest percentage of candidates with criminal records. Out of the 25 candidates fielded, 13 (52%) had declared criminal cases against themselves out of which 10 (40%) faced serious charges. The party now holds the record for the third highest (7) number of lawmakers who face cases related to crime against women out of which three are elected MPs. Hindupur MP, Kuruva Gorantla Madhav faces one charge of rape, two charges of criminal intimidation, and another charge related to the murder. Rajahmundry MP, Margani Bharath faces a charge of cruelty to his wife and was booked under the Dowry Prohibition Act and the Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Vizianagaram MP, Bellana Chandrasekhar was charged with assaulting or using criminal force against a woman with the intent of outraging her modesty. MP, Vijayasai Reddy who served a jail-term alongside Y.S. Jagan Reddy has been booked for criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust, falsification of accounts, and criminal misconduct. In addition, he was also charged with playing a mischief role in the sale of shares, worth 533 crores, of Sandur Power Company. He was also the first accused to be arrested in relation to the disproportionate assets charges against Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. The duo later earned the nicknames A2 and A1 respectively.
Amidst all the witch hunt against the opposition leaders, it is difficult not to question Y.S. Jagan Reddy’s conscience or the lack of it. It’s for the people of Andhra Pradesh to reflect as to why they chose candidates with criminal records over those without any such taint.