New Delhi: For the first time a dubious connection between TRS and AAP leaders has come to the fore. The connection has surfaced during investigations of the infamous Liquor scam in Delhi. The Enforcement Directorate has named K Kavitha, a member of Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) in its report.
Who is K Kavitha?
She is the daughter of current CM K Chandrasekhar Rao. She is a sitting Member of Legislative Council in Telangana. Kavitha represents the Nizamabad constituency on BRS ticket. The Bharat Rashtra Samiti was earlier known as Telangana Rashtra Samiti. Like most regional parties, it is more like a family venture. Kavitha’s father KCR had founded TRS in 2001.
The ED report
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) listed the name of Kavitha in its report. Amit Arora, who is under arrest in the case, revealed her name to the ED. The revelation will have huge impact on poll-bound states including Telangana where the state polls are scheduled next year.
ED has accused Kavitha of giving kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 crore. Allegedly, Vijay Nair received the money on behalf of AAP leaders. Kavitha is not alone though. ED has named three others who control a group called South Group. The other three memebers of the group are Sarath Reddy, Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy and Amit Arora.
Nair received these kickbacks when Delhi’s AAP government introduced new liquor policy. The policy awarded exorbitant wholesale (12 per cent) and huge retail (185 per cent) profit margins.
AAP leaders hiked the wholesalers margin to extract half of it as kickbacks, the report has stated. They devised the policy to ensure cartel formation.
“As per the investigation carried so far, Vijay Nair, received huge kickbacks. These kickbacks are to the tune of Rs 100 crore. They were received from a group called South Group (controlled by Sarath Reddy, K Kavitha, Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy). Amit Arora received the money on behalf of leaders of AAP. The same has been disclosed by the arrestee Amit Arora in his statements,” it further stated.
Kavitha destroyed evidence
As per report, greasing the palms of AAP aides is not the only wrongdoing on part of Kavitha. ED has accused her of changing her mobile phone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) six times. Kavitha did tempering after ED took over investigation of the case.
The report also stated that Kavitha also destroyed the digital evidence to hamper the investigation, after ED analysed the date based on the IMEI. As per ED’s report, 36 suspects/accused have destroyed their mobile phones and laptops. They did after the central agency took over the case.
“However, the ED officials have been able to retrieve data from 17 out of 170 cell phones. They also found the mobile phones destroyed by MLC Kavita, Srujan Reddy, Arun Pillai, Abhishek Boinapally, Butchi Babu Gorantla, and Sharath Reddy,” the report added.
The accused Amit Arora, according to the ED officials, was instrumental in the Delhi liquor scam case by engaging in unfair business practices to gain an undue advantage.
Parvesh Varma of BJP blew the whistle
The genesis of the scam dates back to August when BJP MP Parvesh Varma and former MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa levelled allegations linking Kavitha to the scam. Subsequently Kavitha approached a civil court in Hyderabad and filed a defamation case against them.
The court, in its interim order, directed the BJP leaders not to make any defamatory statements against Kavitha.
Kavitha had termed the allegations ‘completely baseless’. Stating that the BJP government has all agencies in their hands, she said they can do whatever investigations required and she would completely cooperate.
Kavitha had claimed that BJP was trying to tarnish the reputation of Chief Minister KCR’s family by making baseless allegations as he had been vocal in criticising policies of the BJP government.
Even today, on December 1, Kavitha targeted BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying any state where elections are to happen, the Enforcement Directorate arrives before the PM.
“Bachcha bachcha jaanta hai, Modi se pehle ED aata hai (every child knows, ED arrives before Modi),” she said, challenging PM Modi to put her in jail if he wants to.
Kavitha also said ED and CBI cases against leaders of her party are “low level politics”.
“You cannot win elections using your central agencies,” she said, further alleging that the BJP has “destabilised nine states in eight years”.
She also accused BJP of conspiring to destabilise the KCR-led state government, and using central agencies to “defame” them.
Kavitha, however, said they “welcome” the central agencies and will cooperate with them.