ACB may serve notice to Naidu anytime

  • Arrest seems imminent

HYDERABAD: The noose around the neck of Telugu Desam Party supremo and AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu seemed to be getting tightened in the cash-for-vote scam, and the ACB may serve him with a notice any day for his alleged complicity in the murky deal.

According to informed sources, the investigation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in the cash-for-vote scam based on inputs secured from questioning of TDP MLA Revanth Reddy and two others, who were arrested and were cooling their heels in the jail, and examination of various tapes containing the purported talk between Anglo-Indian nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson and Naidu, seemed to have provided fool-proof evidence to nail the AP chief minister.

In fact, legal experts opined that based on various judgments of Supreme Court in similar instances in the past, there was no scope for Naidu to escape an imminent arrest despite any attempts to wriggle out of the web on technical grounds.

Even the bleak chances of getting bailed out by the NDA Government at the Centre also diminished, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to tread cautiously weighing all the pros and cons in the matter.

As the two-week long high-tension and political drama surrounding the scam is fast reaching its climax, the chief ministers of Telangana and AP states were busy planning their respective courses of action. There is no denial of the fact that Telangana Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao is hell bent to nail his AP counterpart and accordingly keeping himself apprised of the day-to-day investigations by the ACB.

He held prolonged discussions in this regard with ACB Director-General A.K. Khan, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Mahendar Reddy and other senior police officials.

The issuing of notices to Naidu and subsequent procedures to be taken were stated to have figured during Rao’s meeting with the senior police officials today. The repercussions following the serving of notice to Naidu seemed to have been thoroughly debated.

On the other hand, Naidu too seemed busy charting out his plans by holding discussions with his confidants and senior police officials to wriggle out of the impending unsavory situation. As part of a series of brainstorming sessions with police officials and legal luminaries, he again held a meeting today in which Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu and Union Minister Chowdary too participated, besides DGP Ramudu and officers of the ACB and Intelligence wing.

Naidu seemed to be under great stress and tension, which is amply evident from the fact that he had put a blanket ban on visitors, including party leaders, to his residence. He is understood to be suspecting insiders within the party of leaking information leading to the audio and video CDs of the scam surfacing. He also seemed to have stressed at today’s meeting the need to unearth all relevant cases filed against Rao.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is understood to be keeping himself constantly apprised of the developments in the two Telugu states by getting briefings from Central Intelligence officials.

Modi also discussed the issue with the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who is understood to have explained in detail the inputs secured by the Telangana State ACB after getting a brief from ACB Director General Khan. (NSS)

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