Kavitha, a member of the Telangana Legislative Council, launched a hunger strike on Friday at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, demanding the introduction of the Women’s Reservation Bill in the current Budget session of Parliament. Kavitha had arrived in the national capital on March 8, hours after the ED issued a summons for questioning. BRS leader KT Rama Rao also arrived at the residence of his father in the national capital.
ED summons Kavitha in connection with liquor policy case
Kavitha has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the ongoing investigation into the liquor policy case. Kavitha has been asked to appear for questioning, where she will be made to sit face-to-face with Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai, who was arrested in connection with the case. The South Group, comprising Telangana MLC Kavitha, Sarath Reddy (promoter of Aurobindo Group), Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy (MP, Ongole), his son Raghav Magunta, and others, was being represented by Pillai, Abhishek Boinpalli, and Butchi Babu. According to the ED, 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.
BRS slams Centre after ED summons Kavitha
The BRS slammed the Centre after the ED summoned Kavitha, calling the summons “tactics of intimidation” against the Telangana CM KCR and the BRS. The party accused central probe agencies of becoming an extended arm of the BJP and referred to the summons as “politically motivated”. BRS leader Ravula Sridhar Reddy said that except ED and BJP, nobody really understands the case registered in connection with the new-withdrawn new Delhi excise policy.
Former Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia arrested by ED
Former Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia has been arrested by the ED in connection with the same case. The CBI had filed a case against alleged corruption in the 2021-22 excise policy. The AAP government subsequently withdrew the excise policy. Sisodia was among 15 others booked in an FIR filed by the CBI. Excise officials, liquor company executives, dealers, some unknown public servants and private persons were booked in the case.
ED investigation reveals kickbacks from South Group to AAP leaders
The ED has come to know that Pillai was involved in the kickbacks from the South Group and the recoupment of the same from the businesses in Delhi. The agency’s investigation has revealed that the South Group gave kickbacks of Rs 100 crore to AAP leaders. Pillai is learnt to be a partner of 32.5% in Indo Spirits, which had got an L1 licence. Indo Spirits is a partnership firm of Arun Pillai (32.5%), Prem Rahul (32.5%), and Indospirit Distribution Limited (35%), wherein Arun Pillai and Prem Rahul represented the benami investments of Kavitha and Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy and his son Raghava Magunta.
Delhi government’s version of the excise policy
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.
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