Telangana Oppn targets BRS for 'secret deal' with BJP to save Kavitha

Telangana Oppn targets BRS for 'secret deal' with BJP to save Kavitha

Hyderabad: Telangana CM KCR's daughter K Kavitha during a program, in Hyderabad on Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Kavitha was summoned by CBI in questioning for the Delhi liquor case on Sunday. (Photo:snapsIndia IANS)

By Mohammed Shafeeq

Hyderabad, July 8 (IANS) Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter and state legislator K. Kavitha has been under the scanner of the central agencies for the last few months for her alleged involvement in the Delhi liquor scam case.

Some recent developments, however, have prompted the opposition parties to allege that the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) has entered into a secret deal with the BJP to save her.
After the BRS skipped the meeting of the opposition parties held in Patna on June 23 and the same day the CM's son K. T. Rama Rao met Union ministers in Delhi, the opposition Congress alleged that despite the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioning Kavitha, she has not been arrested, unlike key leaders of other political parties.
KCR adopting a soft approach towards the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the last few weeks and Kavitha’s name not figuring in the third charge sheet filed by the ED in April are the other arguments being put forth by the critics of BRS in support of their allegations of a secret deal between the BJP and the BRS.
All India Congress Committee Telangana in-charge Manikrao Thakre alleged that the BRS government in the state and the BJP-led Union government struck a “dark deal”. “Why was there no action against Kavitha if there was no such deal between them,” he asked.
Thakre pointed out that the BRS was cosying up to the BJP after criticising the saffron party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for months.
Referring to KTR’s meeting with the central ministers, the Congress leader said the BRS made it look like a meeting to discuss Telangana issues but it was basically to seek a tie-up with the BJP to save Kavitha from arrest.
State Congress chief A. Revanth Reddy wondered why KTR met the union minister while several opposition parties from across the country met in Patna in a show of strength aimed at defeating the BJP.
"It is clear that KTR’s visit to Delhi was aimed at preventing the arrest of his sister,” said senior Congress leader and former minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir, alleging that the MLC who was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate twice in the liquor scam case has been let off.
YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) leader Y. S. Sharmila has also accused KCR of surrendering to the BJP to save his daughter. “KCR who has been targeting the BJP suddenly started attacking another party. Doesn’t it show that BRS has become the BJP’s B team,” she asked.
BRS has denied the allegations. Its leaders say Kavitha boldly faced the investigations in the case but the agencies found nothing against her. They point out that from the beginning Kavitha has been claiming that she was not involved and the BJP was using the central agencies to target KCR and his family as they were expanding the BRS to other states.
Kavitha’s name had first appeared in the case late last year. The CBI had questioned her in Hyderabad.
The ED questioned Kavitha three times in March. According to the agency, Kavitha was a key associate of the South Group, the consortium of liquor traders that allegedly benefited from the tweaks to the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.
Kavitha  appeared for the third and last time so far on March 21 and submitted all the phones she had used during the relevant period as asked by the ED.
According to the ED, Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandran Pillai, an arrested accused in the case represented the South Group allegedly linked to Kavitha and others that paid kickbacks amounting to about Rs 100 crore to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to gain a larger share of the market in the national capital under the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2020-21.
In March, the ED had said that Arun Ramchandra Pillai acted as the benami of Kavitha.
In the remand report filed in a Delhi court after Pilla’s arrest, the ED stated that Pillai was one of the key persons in the entire scam involving payments of huge kickbacks and the formation of  the biggest cartel of the South Group.
According to the agency, the South Group comprises Sarath Reddy (promoter of Aurobindo Group), Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy (MP Ongole), his son Raghav Magunta, K. Kavitha (MLC, Telangana) and others. The South Group was represented by Arun Pillai, Abhishek Boinpalli and Butchi Babu.
Kavitha had asserted that she had done nothing wrong and alleged that the Centre was using the ED as the BJP could not gain a backdoor entry into Telangana.
The former MP had termed the allegations ‘bogus and false’. She stated that allegations against her are a political vendetta of the BJP and claimed that time will prove her sincerity.
The ED filed its second supplementary charge sheet in the Delhi excise policy case in April. However, Kavitha was not named in this charge sheet.
Interestingly during Kavitha’s questioning by the ED in Delhi, posters featuring politicians from different states, who joined the BJP after facing investigation by central agencies in different cases, alongside Kavitha were put up at several spots in Hyderabad.
The posters with ‘#Bye Bye Modi’ scribbled on them show the effect of ‘Raid detergent’ on politicians who joined the BJP and on Kavitha. According to the posters, the 'Raid detergent' changes the T-shirt colours of the BJP leaders from white to saffron, while the colour of Kavitha’s clothes remains unaffected.

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