New Delhi: Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao`s daughter K Kavitha left the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in the national capital after the officials questioned her in connection with Delhi liquor policy case on Saturday. Kavitha had asked the federal probe agency to postpone her questioning to Saturday, citing her hunger strike in Delhi on Friday. The central agency agreed to her request and rescheduled the questioning for Saturday. She had arrived in the national capital on March 8, hours after the ED issued a summons for questioning. BRS leader KT Rama Rao on Friday also arrived at the residence of his father in the national capital. Notably, former Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia has been arrested by ED in the same case.
According to sources, Kavitha was to be made to sit face-to-face with Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai, who was arrested in connection with the liquor policy case on Monday night.
#WATCH | Delhi: BRS MLC and Telangana CM’s daughter K Kavitha leaves the ED office after she was questioned by the ED officials pertaining to Delhi liquor policy case. pic.twitter.com/muNnfY9FVQ
— ANI (@ANI) March 11, 2023
The MLC had called the summons “tactics of intimidation” by the Centre against the Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and the BRS, adding that the party will continue to fight and expose the Centre`s failures and will raise its voice for a brighter and better future for India.
“I would also like the ruling party at the Centre to know that these tactics of intimidation against the fight and voice of our leader, CM KCR, and against the entire BRS party will not deter us. Under the leadership of KCR Garu, we will continue to fight to expose your failures and raise voice for a brighter and better future for India,” Kavitha said in a tweet.
On March 8, the BRS came down heavily on the Centre after the ED summoned Kavitha in connection with its ongoing probe in the Delhi excise policy case, saying that the central probe agencies have become an extended arm of the BJP. Referring to the summons as “politically motivated”, BRS leader Ravula Sridhar Reddy had said that except ED and BJP, nobody really understands the case registered in connection with the new-withdrawn new Delhi excise policy.
In its investigation, ED has come to know that Pillai is 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. South Group comprises Telangana MLC Kavitha, Sarath Reddy (promoter of Aurobindo Group), Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy (MP, Ongole), his son Raghav Magunta, and others. The federal agency investigation has revealed that the South Group was being represented by Pillai, Abhishek Boinpalli and Butchi Babu.
Pillai along with his associates was coordinating with various persons to execute the political understanding between the South Group and a leader of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Pillai has been an accomplice and was involved in the kickbacks from the South Group and the recoupment of the same from the businesses in Delhi, ED investigation reveals.
The ED had earlier said that the South Group gave kickbacks of Rs 100 crore to AAP leaders. Pillai is learnt to be a partner of 32.5 per cent in Indo Spirits, which had got an L1 licence. Indo Spirits is a partnership firm of Arun Pillai (32.5 per cent), Prem Rahul (32.5 per cent) and Indospirit Distribution Limited (35 per cent), wherein Arun Pillai and Prem Rahul represented the benami investments of Kavitha and Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy and his son Raghava Magunta.In December last year, Kavitha, a Telangana Legislative Council member, was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the same case.
The excise policy was passed in Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Cabinet in the middle of the deadly Delta Covid-19 pandemic in 2021. The Delhi government`s version is that the policy was formulated to ensure the generation of optimum revenue, eradicate the sale of spurious liquor or non-duty paid liquor in Delhi, besides improving user experience. The CBI had filed a case against alleged corruption in the 2021-22 excise policy. The excise policy was subsequently withdrawn by the AAP government.
Sisodia was among 15 others booked in an FIR filed by the CBI. Excise officials, liquor company executives, dealers, unknown public servants and private persons were booked in the case. It was alleged that irregularities were committed including modifications in the Excise Policy and undue favours were extended to the license holders including waiver or reduction in licence fee, an extension of L-1 license without approval etc.