Delhi excise policy case: ED summons Telangana CM KCR’s daughter K Kavitha
Kavitha Kalvakuntla, 44, has been asked to depose on March 9 before the agency in Delhi. She has asked for the deposition date to be set for March 15.
Officials said Kavitha would be “confronted” with Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandran Pillai, an alleged frontman of the “south group” — a liquor cartel that allegedly wielded influence on the wording of the excise policy. Pillai was arrested by the ED on Monday.
The agency will record Kavitha’s statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) during this confrontation.
Here are the other developments through the day:
‘Will seek legal opinion on date of deposing’
The BRS leader said she would fully cooperate with the investigation agency but would seek legal opinion on the date of deposition in view of her proposed dharna in Delhi on March 10 in support of the women’s reservation bill.
According to sources, Kavitha has written to the Enforcement Directorate seeking time till March 15 to appear before the agency for questioning in the Delhi liquor policy case. The ED is yet to comment on the matter.
Kavitha said that “these tactics of intimidation” against the fight of her father and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, and the BRS would not deter them.
“As a law-abiding citizen, I will fully cooperate with the investigation agencies. However, due to the dharna and prefixed appointments, I’ll seek legal opinions on the date of attending it,” she said, adding: “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.”
‘Will fight for rights of people: Kavitha
Under the leadership of CM KCR, the BRS will continue to fight to expose the BJP’s failures and raise voice for a brighter and better future for India, Kavitha said on Wednesday. Telangana would “never bow before” the anti-people regime in Delhi, she added.
“Let me also remind the power mongers in Delhi that Telangana has never and will never bow before the oppressive anti-people regime. We will fearlessly and fiercely fight for the rights of the people,” she said.
The ED has Pillai’s custody till March 12 (to be again produced before a Delhi court on March 13) and if Kavitha chooses to skip the date on Thursday, the agency may give her a fresh date within the custody period of Pillai.
Telangana BJP chief slams KCR’s daughter
The BJP’s Telangana president Bandi Sanjay Kumar on Wednesday hit out at Kavitha over her statement that the people of the state won’t bow before “Delhi rulers”.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event at the state BJP office to mark International Women’s Day, Sanjay asked what the people of Telangana had to do with the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam. “Did Kavitha indulge in an illegal liquor deal for the sake of the Telangana people? Is that ill-gotten money being spent on crop loan waivers or payment of salaries to employees or towards unemployment allowance?” Sanjay asked.
He said while the people of Telangana have never had any reason to bow their heads in shame, they were now forced to do so in the light of Kavitha’s alleged involvement in the liquor policy case.
Pillai and the ‘south group’
The ED had said the “south group” comprises Sarath Reddy (promoter of Aurobindo Pharma), Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy (YSR Congress MP from Ongole Lok Sabha seat), Kavitha and others.
The agency has also alleged in Pillai’s remand papers that he “represented the benami investments” of Kavitha in this case.
The BRS leader has been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in this case earlier.
It is alleged that the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers, who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The policy was later scrapped and the Delhi Lt Governor had recommended a CBI probe following which the ED registered a case under the PMLA.
(With inputs from agencies)Watch Delhi liquor scam case: BRS leader K Kavitha summoned by ED for questioning