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Kavitha 'paid hawala' to AAP, claims ED


Published on: March 10, 2023 | Updated on: March 11, 2023

TRS MLC Kalvakuntla Kavitha (PTI)

HYDERABAD: The Enforcement Directorate has claimed that city auditor G. Buchi Babu had confirmed the involvement of BRS leader and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha in the Delhi liquor case, and that she allegedly arranged Rs 100 crore to be paid to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) through hawala along with Aurobindo Pharma’s P. Sarath Chandra Reddy and the family of YSRC MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy’s family.

Both the ED and the CBI, which have been investigating the liquor scam, described the three as the ‘South Group’. The ED findings based on the confessions made by the accused comes at a time when one of the accused, Arun Ramachandran Pillai, retracted his earlier statements linking Kavitha to the liquor case.

In the production cum remand report of former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, submitted to a local Delhi court, the ED claimed that it had evidence to establish participation of Kavitha in the meetings held in New Delhi and Hyderabad to discuss the proposed excise policy, arranging rs 100 crore kickbacks in advance and recouping the amount by becoming partners in wholesale and retail liquor trade.

Quoting Buchi Babu’s statement recorded on February 23, the ED said there was a political understanding between Kavitha and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Sisodia. Kavitha met their representative Vijay Nair on March 19 and 20 of 2021 at Gauri Apartments, Delhi. During the meeting Nair tried to impress upon Kavitha on what he could do with the liquor policy and proposed that the AAP be given some funds "in exchange of favours that can be done in liquor policy and in the liquor business for Kavitha."

The ED also revealed Buchi Babu's exchange of messages with Vijay Nair and Magunta Raghava Reddy. In one of them, Buchi Babu informed the YSRC MP’s son that he could negotiate 33 per cent each for Sameer Mahendru, Raghava Reddy and "madam" in the IndoSpirit, the wholesale entity that got exclusive supply arrangement with top manufacturer Pernod Ricard as part of understanding. The ED said "madam" referred to by Buthci Babu was Kavitha.

The ED alleged that Sisodia facilitated 12 per cent margin for wholesalers and 185 per cent to retailers in return to the kickbacks received for AAP election campaign in Goa and Punjab. It also alleged that 30 per cent of the retail sector was controlled by the South group.

The ED reiterated that at least Rs 30 crore of hawala money arranged by the South group through Abhishek Boinpally and his cousin Lupin Takkallapalli was collected by Dinesh Arora for Vijay Nair.