The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will once again question Kadapa MP Y. S. Avinash Reddy on Friday as the four-year-old sensational case relating to former Andhra Pradesh minister Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy’s murder is set to enter a crucial phase.
Avinash Reddy, a cousin of Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, will appear before the CBI officials in Hyderabad.
This is the second time he will be appearing before the central agency.
Avinash Reddy’s father Y. S. Bhaskar Reddy was also summoned by the CBI on Thursday but he has sought more time.
Avinash Reddy will be making an appearance two days after the CBI made startling revelations in the case.
While opposing the bail petition of one of the accused Sunil Yadav, the CBI stated in its counter filed in Telangana High Court on Wednesday 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 YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) fielding Avinash as the party candidate from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency. The former minister wanted that Jagan Mohan Reddy’s sister Y. S. Sharmila or mother Y. S. Vijayamma be fielded.
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 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 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 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 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.
Stepping up the pace of investigation, the CBI on January 28 questioned Avinash Reddy for more than four-and-a-half hours.
On February 3, the CBI questioned Krishna Mohan Reddy, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for the chief minister.
The central agency also quizzed Naveen, who works in the house of the chief minister. The CBI officials questioned the duo for six-and-a-half hours in Kadapa.
They were reportedly questioned about the sequence of events on the day when Vivekananda Reddy was murdered. They collected information about phone calls made or received by them on the day.