|Jaganmohan Reddy’s palatial house in Hyderabad. Picture by G Vijayalakshmi
Hyderabad, July 19: A palatial house that Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy is building in Hyderabad is under the scanner of the CBI, which has been asked by Andhra Pradesh High Court to probe the politician’s assets.
Two days ago, CBI sleuths visited a 52,263sqft site (well over an acre) in Hyderabad’s upscale Banjara Hills where Jagan’s five-storey mansion, valued at Rs 300 crore by local real estate players, is nearing completion.
According to real estate sources, the building plan shows several escalators, lifts, a 200-seat mini-theatre, a library, a gym, and squash, tennis and volleyball courts, apart from a three-floor underground car park.
A local contractor said he had been commissioned to supply 24 train wagonloads of marble from Rajasthan so that about 60 rooms and bathrooms, each the size of a single-bedroom flat, could be floored with marble.
Lotus Mahal, which local people have begun referring to as “Jagan Mahal”, will sprawl over a 10,000sqft area. The total floor area across the five storeys is estimated at 42,000 sqft.
CBI officials said the plot had been bought by Jagan’s front companies. It is made up of six original plots — numbered 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 — at HUDA Heights in Banjara Hills’ Lotus Pond locality, they added.
Jagan owns about two-thirds of the property while his sister Sharmila Reddy owns the rest, the sources said. Going by current property rates, the price of the entire plot should be over Rs 30 crore.
Real estate sources said Lotus Mahal would have nearly 30 bedrooms apart from an office complex, 20 servants’ quarters and a two-storey outhouse in the backyard.
A builder said that but for the Telangana agitation, the mansion’s price would have been Rs 700 crore. “Even at the downswing rates, it is roughly valued at Rs 300 crore.”
On July 13, the high court gave the CBI two weeks to probe charges that Jagan had amassed huge wealth by laundering money during his late father Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy’s term as chief minister between 2004 and 2009.
The complaint was filed by a Congress minister from the state.
Sources in Jagan’s party, the YSR Congress, said their leader had taken time off his Odarpu Yatra for a month to concentrate on the construction.
A bureaucrat who visits Jagan almost every day said the mansion was modelled on the chief minister’s residence at Begumpet. Jagan has set up his party headquarters at a rented bungalow in Jubilee Hills’ Road No. 45.
“Jagan is confident that the new house will bring him good luck and also the goodwill of Congress workers,” a party source said, indicating that Jagan hopes that many more Congress MLAs and MPs would join him by the time the house is completed.