Monday, October 2, 2023

IT raids unnerve ministers, MLAs, MPs who have stakes in businesses

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The crackdown by the central investigation agencies on ministers, their aides, and relatives, is triggering panic among industrialists and businessmen who are directly or indirectly associated with the ruling party.

Many TRS MLAs, MPs, MLCs and other leaders are up to their necks in businesses. The sleuths of the Enforcement Directorate and those of the Income Tax department grilled Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav’s close aides and Minister Ch Malla Reddy and his relatives, unleashing a wave of panic among MLAs, MLCs, and MPs’ family members. Minister Malla Reddy is a well-known educationist in Telangana.

A large number of students study in his engineering, medical colleges, and Mallareddy university. I-T officials conducted raids on Minister Malla Reddy, his sons Mahendar Reddy, Badhra Reddy, his son-in-law Marri Rajashekar Reddy, his brother Gopal Reddy and his close aides.

The way the I-T sleuths went about raiding the houses along with CRPF staff has scared TRS public representatives who are involved in businesses. Of the 104 TRS MLAs, at least 60 MLAs are into some business or the other. Even though some MLAs did not have any business directly, they are in one way or the other connected with people business people. Following the raids, the leaders are worried about who is next on the list of the agencies.

Many TRS Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members are involved in multiple businesses across various states. Earlier, the ED attached properties related to Khammam MP Nama Nageswara Rao and recently its conducted searches on the premises of the companies of Rajya Sabha member Vaddiraju Ravichandra and his relatives. ED and I-T sleuths conducted raids at the residence of Minister Gangula Kamalakar and those of his family members which also created tension among TRS leaders.

MLAs from various districts have businesses in Telangana and other States. A few TRS MLAs from Mahbubnagar and Rangareddy districts run businesses in Karnataka. The latest raids have became a hot topic in constituencies where the MLAs have businesses. Investigating agencies have targeted the leaders who have links with people like Chikoti Praveen. In the Chikoti Praveen casino case, ED investigated Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav’s cousins and also his PA Harish.

Mahbubnagar district MLAs are into the textile industry and interior design, and infrastructure while those in Rangareddy have interests in infra and real estate businesses. The MPs who are in pharma, construction, hatcheries, infra and cinema industry are ill at ease at the unfolding scenario.

Several leaders who have a stake in their family members’ businesses are also worried with the reports doing rounds in political circles. The leaders are worried that their credibility will take a hit if the raids unearth anything unpleasant. As less than one year is left for the Assembly elections, they feel that I-T and ED raids may tarnish their image.

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