Kavitha to appear before ED today, ministers rush to Delhi
DECCAN CHRONICLE | MOULI MAREEDU
HYDERABAD: After the Supreme on Wednesday refused to grant urgent hearing to Kalvakuntla Kavitha for questioning in connection to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam, the BRS MLC and daughter of Chief Minister K.Chandrashekar Rao on Wednesday said she will appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in New Delhi on Thursday and fully cooperating with the central investigating agency.
Ministers K.T.Rama Rao, T.Harish Rao, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Sabitha Indra Reddy, and Satyavathy Rathod, along with an entourage of lawyers, raced to the capital on Wednesday night to offer moral and legal support to Kavitha. Dozens of BRS and Bharat Jagruthi activists who arrived in New Delhi on March 11 in support of Kavitha have remained and plan to organise protests in the national capital if Kavitha is arrested on Thursday.
Kavitha already flew to New Delhi on Tuesday and had a round table meeting with 18 political parties, women's organisations, and others on Wednesday, demanding that the Centre introduce and pass the Women's Reservation Bill in the ongoing session of the Parliament. MPs from nine political parties, including the Shiv Sena, RJD, CPI, RLD, JMM, AAP, SP, VCK, DMK, and others, attended the round table meeting and expressed their support for Kavitha's fight for a women's quota Bill.
Tension gripped the BRS rank and file because Kavitha will be appearing before the ED for the second time in less than a week. The last time, on March 11, the ED interrogated Kavitha for around nine hours at her residence in the Delhi liquor scam case. Kavita mobile phone was seized by the ED.
The ED officials claimed that Kavita played a key role in representing the South Group along with Abhishek Boinapally, auditor Gorantla Buchi Babu, and Aurobindo Pharma director P. Sarath Chandra Reddy in formulating the controversial Delhi excise policy. The main accusation made by the ED was that the AAP leaders in New Delhi allegedly received kickbacks totaling Rs 100 crore in exchange for formulating the liquor policy in favour of the South Group. The ED claimed to have obtained technical evidence of WhatsApp data and the chat conversations between the accused who were arrested by the ED. Based on this, the ED would question Kavita on her alleged role in the case in the presence of Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramachandran Pillai and auditor G.Buchi Babu. Arun Pillai is still in the custody of the ED officials.
Buchi Babu grilled for 11 hours
The ED officials questioned auditor Buchi Babu in connection with the case on Wednesday when he appeared before it in New Delhi at around 10 am. He was grilled for 11 hours till 9 pm. The ED is likely to question Buchi Babu again on Thursday along with Kavitha. He was arrested by the CBI in the case and was released on bail recently.