Telangana legislator K Kavitha, who was named by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday in a court filing over its investigation into the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy, today took aim at the Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying any state where elections are to happen, the Enforcement Directorate arrives before the PM.
"Bachcha bachcha jaanta hai, Modi se pehle ED aata hai (every child knows, ED arrives before Modi)," she said, challenging PM Modi to put her in jail if he wants to.
Without going into the specifics of allegations against her, Ms Kavitha said ED and CBI cases against leaders of her party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), is "low level politics".
"You cannot win elections using your central agencies," she said, further alleging that the BJP has "destabilised nine states in eight years".
She accused the BJP of conspiring to destabilise the KCR-led state government, and using central agencies to "defame" them.
Ms Kavitha, however, said they "welcome" the central agencies and will cooperate with them.
The central probe agency, citing statements by an arrested Gurugram businessman Amit Arora, has claimed that K Kavitha, daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, was a key member of the "South Group" which paid at least Rs 100 crore in kickbacks to leaders of Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) via another arrested businessman Vijay Nair.
K Kavitha's name has come up in a remand report filed by the Enforcement Directorate, citing statements by an arrested Gurugram businessman, Amit Arora.
The central agency claimed Ms Kavitha was a key member of the "south group" which paid at least Rs 100 crore in kickbacks to leaders of Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) via another arrested businessman, Vijay Nair.
"As per the investigation carried so far, Sh Vijay Nair, on behalf of leaders of AAP has at least received kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 Cr from a group; called South Group (controlled by Sh Sarath Reddy, Ms. K Kavitha, Sh Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy) by various persons including Amit Arora. The same has been disclosed by the arrestee Sh Amit Arora in his statements," the ED said.
Sarath Reddy has also been arrested by the ED in the liquor policy case. Amit Arora is the Director of the liquor firm Buddy Retail.
The remand report says the Delhi liquor policy had the purported intent of stopping cartelisation and encouraging fair trade practices, but allegedly promoted cartelisation through the back door.
The remand report of the sixth man arrested in the case, Amit Arora, has Ms Kavitha's name. The report provided details of phone numbers linked to her, sources said. 10 phone calls were allegedly made by Amit Arora to Ms Kavitha on two numbers in 2021 and 2022, the agency has said, alleging that the TRS leader changed 10 devices to destroy evidence.
36 accused are said to have used 170 phones that were said to have been destroyed in the alleged scam.
The controversial liquor policy was allegedly used as a device to generate illegal funds, the ED has alleged, claiming that the policy would have allegedly caused loss to the state exchequer.
It allegedly awarded exorbitant wholesale (12%) and huge retail (185%) profit margins and incentivised illegal activities. The 12 per cent profit margin to wholesalers was allegedly devised to extract half of it as kickbacks to AAP leaders, the ED has said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and the AAP have rubbished charges of impropriety and have ascribed the allegations to a vendetta by the BJP, which controls the government and agencies like the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The BJP is also at war with Telangana Chief Minister KCR, who has launched an all-out attack on the party as he prepares to foray into national politics.