The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Murder mud on YSR and Naidu
CM son in spot, Desam gets flak

Hyderabad, Jan. 25: Chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy's son found himself embroiled in yesterday's murder of a political opponent, but the violence that flared across Andhra Pradesh also shredded the reputation of the man credited with turning the capital into an IT hub.

Former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was blamed for not being more 'sensible' as furious supporters of slain Telugu Desam Party legislator P. Ravindra targeted officials and burnt vehicles.

Anantpur district police today registered a case of criminal conspiracy against the chief minister's son, Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, and five others, including a minister and a police official, after a complaint by Konnayya, the father-in-law of the slain MLA.

Among the others named as accused are panchayat raj minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy, IPS officer R.P. Meena, M. Suryanarayana Reddy, who is serving a life term in a blasts case, and his wife Bhanumathi, who had contested against Ravindra last year.

As allegations flew, the chief minister announced that he had decided to hand over investigations to the CBI. 'As my son's name figured in the FIR along with my cabinet colleague and an IPS official, we prefer not to get the case investigated by a state agency. Instead, we have decided to hand it over to the CBI as we do not want to give scope for even slightest doubts,' he said after a cabinet meeting. 'I am not interested in shielding anyone, even my son, if need be.'

Sources said Jaganmohan was at loggerheads with Ravindra, who had blamed him for the killing of nearly 20 Desam workers in Anantpur, and that Jaganmohan had filed a defamation case against the legislator and demanded a compensation of over Rs 2 crore. However, he told reporters he had no personal animosity towards the slain MLA.

Congress ministers accused the Desam of making political capital of the killing. 'The Telugu Desam politburo met immediately after the incident and decided to unleash a reign of terror and arson. A teleconference was held with all district units and (they were) provoked to attack government and Congress party properties,' said municipal administration minister K. Ranga Rao.

The Desam also came under attack from IT employees. 'During our discussions with Naidu, he had made it clear there will be no room for disruption of our 24/7 services,' said a manager of a Fortune 500 company in Hyderabad.

As normal life ground to a halt following a statewide bandh called by the Desam and its ally the BJP, nearly 50 per cent of the more than 500 cyber companies in Hitech City, the capital's IT destination, shut down operations. IT giant Satyam shut down all its city units. 'We did not want to risk our associates getting caught in untoward incidents,' said a manager.

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