YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy will step out of Hyderabad's Chanchalguda jail after 38 days to vote in the Presidential elections on Thursday at the assembly premises in the city. A special CBI court in Hyderabad has said Jagan should be provided with escort and the state DGP would oversee the security arrangements.
The Election Commission had earlier granted permission for the Kadapa MP to vote in the July 19 presidential election at Hyderabad.
The CBI arrested Mr Reddy on May 27 on charges that he conspired with his father and then Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy to dole out favours to companies and individuals who invested in his firms. He last appeared at the Nampally courts on June 11 when he complained that being brought in a vehicle used for regular criminals compromised his security. After that his judicial remand was extended by producing him before the court via video conference.
On Monday, Mr Reddy had filed a petition in the Nampally CBI court asking that he be allowed to vote in Hyderabad in the polls.
The YSR Congress Party which Mr Reddy heads will be meeting on Wednesday to announce who they will support. The party has a strength of two MPs and 17 MLAs.
Sources say they are likely to support the UPA's Pranab Mukherjee since they don't want to be seen voting on the same side as the BJP and therefore cannot vote for PA Sangma. Pranab Mukherjee had sought the support of the party when he called Jagan's mother and Pulivendula MLA Vijayalakshmi, and had reportedly said that he need not be considered a Congress candidate but as an independent. Sangma had also visited Jagan's residence at Hyderabad to personally meet his mother. He also tried to meet Jagan inside jail but that could not happen.
YSR Congress leaders said since there are reservations on both the candidates, the third possibility of abstaining is also not ruled out.
On Thursday, not just Jagan, Mopidevi Venkatramana, who was Excise Minister in Kiran Kumar Reddy's cabinet and now in Chanchalguda Jail, will also vote in the presidential election in Hyderabad.
N Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party announced on Tuesday that it will abstain from the vote.