As expected, minister for excise and prohibition Mopidevi Venkataramana was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the alleged illegal assets case of YSR Congress party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.
Though Mopidevi’s arrest was imminent, nobody expected that it would be done so quickly. He was asked to appear before the CBI for the second consecutive day and soon after his arrival, the CBI officials told him that he was being arrested. It was a rude shock to the minister, as he thought he would be let off for disclosing everything before the agency.
Mopidevi was the minister for infrastructure and ports in the YSR cabinet and had signed the controversial GO pertaining to the land allotments and other sops to VANPIC project involving industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, the biggest investor in Jaganmohan Reddy’s business empire.
Soon after the media flashed the news about his arrest, his supporters enforced a bandh in Nizampatnam, his native village, in protest. All the shops and other establishments were forced to down the shutters.
Mopidevi’s arrest has definitely created panic among the other ministers who had signed the controversial GOs benefiting the companies that invested in Jagan’s firms. There are reports that the CBI officials might arrest a few more ministers, particularly Sabita Indra Reddy, Kanna Lakshminarayana, J Geetha Reddy and Dharmana Prasada Rao. And it would definitely have a terrible impact on the Congress party and its prospects in the next elections.