Monday, June 17, 2024

Scam-ridden year for TS
Raids conducted every month

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Year 2022 will be remembered as a scam-ridden year in Telangana, with both Central and state investigative agencies being unleashed by the respective governments to take on each other for political one-upmanship.The Central Enforcement agencies, including ED, IT and CBI, have been carrying out raids, booking cases against TRS leaders almost every month since January 2022.

The intensity of raids, questioning, and progress of cases increased towards the last quarter of the year. The Delhi liquor scam and alleged involvement of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s daughter and BRS MLC Kalvakuntla Kavitha has been extremely controversial, amidst all this. So far, Kavitha’s name has figured only in the charge-sheet and remand report.

She has not been named as accused in the case, but speculations are rife that the day is not far when the Centre chooses to take such steps. She was driving the South lobby and paid kickbacks to the tune of Rs100 crore is the major allegation of ED.

The Pioneer was the only newspaper to first expose the association of Kavitha with Arun Ramchandra Pillai and Abhishek Boinapally, who have been detained by the investigative agencies. This even exposed the nexus with YSRCP leaders.The CBI searched and also summoned Ongole YSR Congress MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy’s son Magunta Raghava Reddy in connection with the ongoing probe into the alleged now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy scam.

As the intensity of attacks on BRS legislators increased, Telangana retorted as it were with poaching of MLAs case. Acting on a tip-off by Tandur MLA Rohit Reddy, the Cyberabad police had arrested Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Nandu Kumar and Simhayaji Swamy from a farmhouse at Moinabad on October 26 when they were allegedly trying to lure four BRS MLAs to defect to the BJP. BL Santosh, BJP National General Secretary and the number three of BJP was named in the sensational audio and video tapes which the Chief Minister himself sent to everyone across the state.

Incidentally, the way ED tightened screws around BRS MLAs in the SIT case, names kept surfacing but no leader from BJP was even questioned so far. On the other hand, raids have been conducted on four Ministers and their associates of CM K Chandrashekar Rao’s cabinet. In November, Labour Minister Ch Malla Reddy’s residences and family were raised for tax violations. Animal Husbandry Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav’s PA and brothers was questioned in casino scam case, which came to light in July.

The enforcement agencies are probing into the alleged money spent on gambling especially in Nepal. Granite companies associated with Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar, located in Hyderabad and Karimnagar, were searched by ED. Probe found that these companies have benami accounts and showed transactions with a Chinese firm named in Panama Leaks. Searches were conducted at Rajya MP Vaddiraju Ravichandra’s house.

IT searches were conducted at Minister Jagadish Reddy’s PA’s house during Munugode bypoll. ED, in two rounds, seized crores worth assets of TRS MP and party floor leader in Lok Sabha, Nama Nageswara Rao, and members of his family. This is in regard to an ongoing money laundering case against Ranchi Expressway Limited.The ED conducted raids on TRS legislator Manchireddy Kishan Reddy in connection with a Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violation case. He was summoned several times by the Hyderabad ED wing for questioning.

This apart, income tax raids were conducted against real estate groups in Hyderabad, including Vasavi Group, Sumadhura Group, Phoenix Group, RS Brothers and its associated mobile brands. In case of Phoenix Groups, even Mahaprasthanam graveyard was searched. Searches in March on infrastructure companies, including KNR Infra, have been executing several civil projects in Telangana for the government.

It may be mentioned here that in January Karvy Parthasarthy was arrested. In February, hair smuggling and Ghanshayamdas Gems and Jewels were probed by ED. In March, 3 infra firms were reportedly raided by ED and IT sleuths. In April, PCH group properties were attached and Ghanshyamdas Gems fraud was charge-sheeted. In June, properties of JC brothers were raided in City. In July, Cheekoti Praveen Casino Scam was exposed. In August, Liquor scam probe began and IT raids on Pheonix. This is the time when CM KCR has barred Investigative agencies from coming into the state.

In September, NIA probed the links of PFI in city apart from Liquor scam probe. In October raids were conducted on RS Brothers, South India, Big C and Lot Mobile. In November, raids were conducted on Gangula Kamlakar, RaviChandra, Talasani Kin and Malla Reddy. In December, MLC Kavitha was questioned by CBI. Rohit Reddy was questioned by ED.

With 2023 being election year, more raids are bound to happen. Incidentally, CM KCR has been backing and in constantly touch with the leaders who are being raided. He is often trying to change the optics when it comes to informing public about his support.

BJP is hoping for the Bengaluru drugs case to be reopened next which reportedly has involvement of 4BRS MLAs. Infact BJP wants even the old cases of PF scam when KCR was Union labour minister be reopened and investigated again.With Mission Telangana high on BJP agenda, it wouldn’t be surprising if more skeletons tumble out

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