The CBI has put a freeze on Sakshi accounts. Now, what are the options before Jagan and his media outlets? It is almost certain that Sakshi will approach courts for relief. Jagan has a lot of issues in his favour that he can bring to the notice of the court. The CBI has not found any illegality in the accounts that have been frozen. Their only contention is that investments that flowed into the companies are tainted. Jagan could always say that such an allegation cannot be the basis for stopping the day-to-day transactions of its accounts, which will hit hard the company’s performance.
The second option is to seek funds from outsiders, probably even NRIs, who could legitimatelyinvest money into Sakshi paper and Sakshi television channel. Though Jagan and Sakshi will have many admirers within the country who will be ready to come to its rescue, they may be inhibited by the prevailing antagonistic mood of the establishment towards Jagan.
The NRIs – YSR Congress Party enjoys a wide following among a section of Telugu non-residents – might not have the same reservations in investing money into Jagan’s media houses.
Besides, Sakshi paper and channel have recently pruned their expenses drastically in anticipation of a possible freeze on its accounts. The media houses, however, have still not achieved break-even and hence need infusion of cash for running the show. It is in this backdrop that the NRI backing is being thought of by Sakshi management.
Meanwhile, Sakshi management is also trying to lobby for lifting of the freeze by raising the slogan of press freedom. It intends to complain to the Press Council, and seek help of journalists’associations. It hopes a hue and cry by press organizations might work in its favour.
However, Sakshi, with its clearly drawn battle lines, does not enjoy much support within the state media. Besides, the bigwigs in the government are said to have influenced most media houses not to yield to the bogey of press freedom. No wonder that most of the papers and channels were not very enthusiastic in giving Jagan’s version of the development. Jagan may plan odarpu yatra sequel for Sakshi employees and Sakshi Readers.