After the Supreme Court ruling barring jailed politicians from contesting polls, the rank and file of YSR Congress Party just hopes that their leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy, arrested in the illegal assets case, comes out of jail early so that he can contest the next elections. The Supreme Court ruling delivered on July 11, barring those lodged in jail on criminal charges from contesting elections, has left the YSRC shocked.
The ruling affects the YSRC more than anyone else in Andhra Pradesh as its head himself has been languishing in jail on criminal charges. Jagan, an MP from Kadapa who strongly nurses the ambition of becoming Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, was arrested by the CBI on May 27, 2012 in the illegal assets case and since then he has been lodged in Chanchalguda jail.
While the trial court and the AP High Court rejected Jagan's plea for bail on many occasions, the Supreme Court, too, rejected his petitions twice, thereby confining him to jail for about 14 months now. Jagan's political fate will be virtually sealed if he fails to secure bail and walk out of Chanchalguda jail ahead of the next elections, YSRC leaders fear. "The Supreme Court judgment is drastic which will infringe on the democratic rights of citizens. It is a case of judicial overreach and requires to be overturned," the YSR Congress said on Saturday.
Without specifically referring to their leader Jagan's case, YSRC Legislature Party deputy leaders Dharmana Krishna Das, M Sucharitha and B Sobha Nagi Reddy said, "There are a number of false cases foisted on political activists. Ruling parties and governments can get people behind bars in order to prevent them from contesting elections."
"Just as there is need to take all possible steps to cleanse politics, we believe care should also be taken to ensure that such measures do not impinge on the fundamental right of any citizen to fight an election because of flimsy and whimsical actions of law enforcing agencies," they said. The YSRCP had been alleging that the Congress got Jagan jailed as part of "political vendetta".