In Telangana, two cases have grabbed public attention again, between 30 November and 1 December 2022.
In a nutshell:
Telangana Police submitted evidence before High Court, naming and implicating BJP National General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santhosh in the TRS MLAs poaching case.
Enforcement Directorate sought custody of accused businessman Amit Arora in the Delhi excise scam case, naming and implicating TRS leader and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter K Kavitha.
The big picture: On 26 October, Telangana Police arrested three persons – Ramachandra Bharati, Simhayaji, and K Nanda Kumar – accusing them of offering bribes to the tune of Rs 250 crore to four TRS MLAs to allegedly lure them join the BJP.
In this case, also known as the Telangana BJP MLAs poaching scam, BL Santhosh is accused number four.
In the Delhi liquor excise scam, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is accused of having favoured some liquor businesses, including South Group, allegedly linked to Kavitha, for monetary kickbacks.
While K Kavitha has been named by the ED, in a petition seeking custody of accused Amit Arora, she is not yet an accused in the liquor case.
Seemingly, a fight is on between two probe teams – ED and Telangana's Special Investigation Team (SIT) – with both seemingly digging up dirt on TRS and BJP leaders, respectively.
Worth noting: ED comes under the Union Ministry of Finance and the SIT is an arm of the Telangana Police that comes under the state's Home Department. Telangana High Court, however, deemed the SIT independent instructing it to report to an HC judge in November. This order was later reversed by the Supreme Court.
What did SIT find on BL Santhosh in TRS MLAs poaching case?
In its report submitted to Telangana High Court, the SIT alleges:
Accused number one, Ramachandra Bharati sent a text message to BL Santhosh alerting him of his attempt to lure TRS MLAs to the BJP.
Two persons interrogated in connection with the case – Advocate P Pratap and Munjagalla Vijay Kumar – have confessed to having witnessed parts of the conspiracy, that included Santhosh.
A conspiracy meeting was allegedly held at BL Santhosh's residence between:
Tushar Vellapally, President of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena. Tushar is the son of Vellapally Natesan, general secretary of Kerala's Ezhava (OBC) organisation Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP)
Hyderabad businessman K Nanda Kumar
One Munjagalla Vijay Kumar, who has confessed to having witnessed the meeting
The BJP's rebuttal: The BJP has filed a petition, denying all charges and asking Telangana High Court to transfer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), accusing the TRS of having used the state police to target BJP leaders.
While BL Santhosh has not personally rebutted the allegations, Tushar Vellapally has denied all charges levelled against him.
What did ED find on Kavitha in the liquor excise scam?
As per the custody petition submitted before a Delhi court, the ED has alleged:
K Kavitha controls a company, South Group, which offered kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 crore to accused Vijay Nair, who was acting on behalf of AAP leaders.
Kavitha changed her cell phones six times between 2021 and 2022 to avoid detection.
Kavitha's aides Sarath Reddy and Abhishek Boinpally also changed their mobile handsets multiple times.
K Kavitha's rebuttal: Kavitha called a short press conference on Thursday, 1 November.
She is ready to face the ED probe as she has done no wrong.
The BJP is targeting her by allegedly using ED, as Telangana Assembly election is scheduled for 2023.
Even if she were to be jailed, she will not stop 'exposing' the BJP for allegedly toppling democratically elected state governments.