Hours before Bharat Rashtra Samithi MLC K Kavitha’s second round of interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its Delhi office today, ‘wanted’ posters of BJP national general secretary BL Santosh appeared at two different places in Hyderabad. The posters depict Santosh as “talented at MLA poaching”, and also indicate a bounty of Rs 15,00,000 for information on his whereabouts.
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the poster offered a bounty which would be a “sanction of Modi’s promise of Rs 15,00,000.” The reward is in reference to the Opposition’s allegation of PM Modi reneging on his promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh into every citizen’s bank account.
Four days ago, posters made references to “raid detergents,” casting Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Both are accused of corruption and switched from the Congress
The poster depicted the leaders in dirty white T-shirts that get coloured saffron, which is the BJP’s colour, after a wash in the detergent. Underneath, there was Kavitha’s picture and the caption read, “True colours never change.”
Several posters surfaced in the capital city of BRS-ruled Telangana on the first day (11 March) when Kavitha appeared before the ED. The posters cast PM Modi as a “destroyer of democracy” and “grandfather of hypocrisy.”
Kavitha moves SC
Meanwhile, on Wednesday Kavitha moved the Supreme Court against her interrogation by the ED. In her petition, she challenged the ED summons in a money-laundering case linked to the Delhi excise policy case.
In her argument, the BRS leader said that a woman cannot be called to the office of the ED again and again. A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha agreed to hear her plea on March 24.
Earlier, on March 8, the BRS slammed the Centre after the ED summoned Telangana chief minister’s daughter in connection with its ongoing investigation in the liquor policy case. The BRS accused the central probe agencies of becoming an extended arm of the BJP, and BRS leader Ravula Sridhar Reddy refrerred to the summons as “politically motivated”.
On March 11, Kavitha was grilled for nine hours by the ED in the money laundering case. She was reportedly confronted with the statements made by Arun Ramachandran Pillai, a Hyderabad-based businessman and an accused arrested in the case.
Pillai represented the South Group, which is accused of giving kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 crore to AAP leaders. The ED alleged that a part of the Rs 100 crore kickbacks was used to fund AAP’s campaign for Goa assembly polls.
On Wednesday, the ED quizzed Butchibabu Gorantla, former auditor of Kavitha, in connection with the money laundering probe.
Gorantla was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in February, and is currently out on bail. Pillai and Gorantla allegedly represented the interests of the South Group in the now-scrapped excise policy.
The ED has stated that the “South Group” comprises Sarath Reddy (promoter of Aurobindo Pharma