Sekhar Reddy Paid Ministers, Bureaucrats in TN
Chennai: While the Tamil Nadu government and officials tried to distance themselves from sand mining baron J Sekhar Reddy, who was accused of money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate, it seems that he wishes for the opposite. The Income Tax department has informed the State government that he paid state ministers and bureaucrats around 400 crores, according to sources. This comes as a huge embarrassment to Palanaswami government which is struggling to keep its house in order. Now the State government should order for a probe, added the sources.
The Income Tax department which raided Reddy’s properties in December last year recovered Rs. 142 crore cash, including new 2,000 rupee notes adding up to Rs 34 crores. The CBI, which was carrying on the probe after the raids, arrested Reddy for tax evasion within a few days. Though he was given bail after 87 days in jail, he was again arrested within three days.
It was alleged that Reddy had business links with Tamil Nadu former chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao’s son Vikram Rao. Following the clue, Income Tax department raided the houses of Rao in December and subsequently, he was removed from his post.
The Enforcement Directorate provisionally attached properties of Reddy and his associates worth Rs. 33.74 crore under the prevention of Money Laundering Act or PMLA, last week.
The Enforcement Directorate claimed that Reddy had stated that the cash seized by Income Tax department belonged to his SRS mining company, and also accepted that it was unaccounted money.
The huge amount paid by Reddy could be sharing the wealth he made in sand mining and PWD contracts with political patronage said the IT department sources.
The ruling party is mired in corruption cases. When the Income Tax department raided Health Minister Vijaya Bhaskar’s residence, they recovered incriminating documents, which prove that RK Nagar constituency voters were bribed Rs.89 crores by them. The by-polls were cancelled by the Election Commission. And now the AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran faced arrest in cash for symbol scam.