Jagan Mohan Reddy, chief of the YSR Congress, is being questioned for the third day in a row by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with a disproportionate assets case. Sources say that Mr Reddy's arrest is imminent, especially since his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
In an apparent show of strength, he arrived at the Dilkusha Guest House where he is being interrogated, accompanied by Congress MP Sabbam Hari, Congress MLAs Nani and Ranga Rao. His close associate and financial advisor and accused number two in the case Vijay Sai Reddy came a little before him along with Mr Reddy's lawyer Ashok Reddy.
On Friday and Saturday, Mr Reddy was questioned for nearly eight hours by the investigating body in connection with a disproportionate assets case against him.
Emerging out of the guest house on Saturday, he said things had gone peacefully.
Earlier yesterday, before he set out for the CBI office for questioning, Mr Reddy alleged that the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) want to eliminate the "third force" in Andhra Pradesh, and deliberately want to postpone the by-polls scheduled for June 12 in the state.
Even as Mr Reddy has spent the last two days with the CBI, there has been hectic political activity behind-the-scenes. The YSR Congress party says several Congress and Telugu Desam Party MLAs have got in touch with them and are ready to jump ship.
These claims have been substantiated by the fact that yesterday, Bobbili MLA, belonging to the Congress; Ranga Rao joined the YSR Congress party.
On Friday, the first day Mr Reddy was summoned, he came to the CBI office accompanied by Anakapalle Congress MP Sabbam Hari and Eluru MLA. Senior TDP leader Mysoora Reddy also joined Mr Reddy's party in the past week.
Hyderabad in the meanwhile continues to remain tense. After he was denied anticipatory bail, the entire area around Mr Reddy's home and the route from his home to the CBI camp office has been sanitised of his supporters and traffic, to avert any possible law and order trouble. The road from his Banjara Hills residence to the place of interrogation is fortified, lined with policemen. Personnel from the city police, Andhra Pradesh Special Police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed around the guest house and surrounding localities. Police have even kept water cannons and tear gas ready.
Prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more people have also been imposed in the city and other parts of the state.
Mr Reddy has admitted that if he is arrested it could become an emotive issue. A couple of hours after he appeared before the CBI on Friday, unidentified persons set afire a bus of state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) at NGOs colony in Vanasthalipuram in Hyderabad.
Since Thursday night dozens of Jagan supporters have been arrested in various districts.
The police have also imposed prohibitory orders in Jagan's native district Kadapa and several places in the state.
Mr Reddy is the son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who died in a helicopter crash in 2009. After his father's death he split with the Congress and formed his own party, the YSR Congress.
The CBI alleges that while YSR was in office, he conspired with other ministers to influence entrepreneurs to invest in his son's companies; in return, they were granted licences and other permissions required for their businesses.
The CBI inquiry into Mr Reddy's business empire and the source of its funds was ordered by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in August 2011.
The corruption case against Mr Reddy could affect not just his political fortunes, but that of several other leaders from the party who quit the Congress in a huff. One of those leaders, a minister named M Venkatramana, was arrested after seven hours of interrogation on Wednesday. Mr Venkatramana has been remanded to judicial custody till June 7. Five other Congress ministers are also being studied for possible collusion.