Hyderabad: YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) MP from Kadapa, Y.S. Avinash Reddy on Friday appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for questioning in former Andhra Pradesh minister, Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy’s murder case.
Avinash Reddy, a cousin of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, appeared before the CBI officials in Hyderabad. He was reportedly being questioned in the presence of his lawyer.
This is the second time that the Lok Sabha member from Kadapa is being questioned by the central agency in the case.
Vivekananda Reddy, who was found murdered at his house in Kadapa district in 2019, was paternal uncle of Jaganmohan Reddy and Avinash Reddy.
The CBI officials questioned Avinash Reddy for more than four-and-a-half hours on January 28.
Avinash Reddy’s father Y.S. Bhaskar Reddy was also summoned by the CBI on Thursday, but he has sought more time from the agency.
The questioning of the MP assumed significance in the wake of an affidavit filed by the CBI in Telangana High Court two days ago while opposing the bail petition of Sunil Yadav, one of the accused.
The investigating agency stated that Avinash Reddy, his father Y.S. Bhaskar Reddy and their follower D. Siva Sankar Reddy had hatched a criminal conspiracy to kill Vivekananda Reddy over conflicting political ambitions.
The CBI submitted to the court that the trio used other accused Yerra Gangi Reddy, Sunil Yadav, Dastagiri and others who worked for Vivekananda Reddy to execute the murder plot.
Avinash Reddy and Bhaskar Reddy had a grouse against Vivekananda Reddy as the latter was opposed to YSRCP fielding Avinash as the party candidate from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency. The former minister wanted Jagan Mohan Reddy to field his sister Y.S. Sharmila or mother Y.S. Vijayamma.
The CBI claimed that Rs 40 crore was offered to the other accused to carry out the murder.
The investigating agency also stated in its counter that Vivekananda Reddy was not happy with his brother Bhaskar Reddy and nephew Avinash Reddy as they had sabotaged his chances in the MLC election in 2017 in Kadapa. Avinash and his father wanted Siva Sankar as MLC candidate, but when Jagan Mohan Reddy fielded Vivekananda, the trio ensured he was defeated.
Vivekananda Reddy was the younger brother of former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, father of Jagan Mohan Reddy.
He was found murdered mysteriously at his residence at Pulivendula in Kadapa district on March 15, 2019, a month ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The 68-year-old former state minister and former MP was alone at his house when unidentified persons barged in and killed him. He was killed hours before he was to launch the YSR Congress Party’s election campaign in Kadapa.
Though three Special Investigation Teams (SITs) conducted the probe they failed to solve the mystery.
The CBI took over the investigation into the case in 2020 on the direction of Andhra Pradesh High Court while hearing a petition of Vivekananda Reddy’s daughter Sunitha Reddy, who raised suspicion about some relatives.
The CBI filed a charge sheet in the murder case on October 26, 2021 and followed it up with a supplementary charge sheet on January 31, 2022
In November last year, the Supreme Court transferred to a CBI court in Hyderabad the trial and probe into the larger conspiracy behind the murder. The apex court observed that doubts raised by Sunitha Reddy about getting a fair trial and investigation in Andhra Pradesh were reasonable.