Telangana State Chief's Daughter Questioned in Liquor Policy Scam
© AP Photo / Gurinder OsanIn this Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011 photo, wine glasses stand in the foreground of a group learning wine appreciation and fine dining, being conducted by Tulleeho Beverage Innovations at a restaurant in New Delhi, India.
© AP Photo / Gurinder Osan
Indian federal investigating agencies are examining financial irregularities in the formulation and execution of the now-rolled-back liquor policy introduced by the Delhi government in 2021.
Kalvakuntia Kavitha, the daughter of Telangana state chief Kalvakuntia Chandrashekar Rao, was being questioned on Saturday by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Delhi liquor policy case.
She arrived at ED headquarters in New Delhi at 11am (05:30 GMT).
The 44-year-old politician was summonsed to investigate her connection with a businessman Arun Ramachandran Pillai, who was arrested earlier this week for the same case.
Her statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
While #KalvakuntlaKavitha’s questioning is underway at the ED office in Delhi, there is an entourage of #BRS leaders in Delhi to support Kavitha. This even includes ministers from #KCR’s Cabinet. This was her leaving for the ED office a while ago. #DelhiLiqourScam pic.twitter.com/HP1yhWahFt— Rishika Sadam (@RishikaSadam) March 11, 2023
Kavitha's residence and the ED office were under heavy security as her supporters protested in Delhi and Telangana.
Protest against #BJP Telangana chief #BandiSanjayKumar by #BRS party leaders and activists, for his controversial comments against CM KCR's daughter and #MLCKavitha , party activists burnt the effigy of #BandiSanjay in Delhi.#KalvakuntlaKavitha #Kavitha #DelhiLiquorPolicy pic.twitter.com/4eBLYqFeUz— Surya Reddy (@jsuryareddy) March 11, 2023
What is the Liquor Scam ?
Under the new liquor policy which was introduced by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-ruled Delhi government in November 2021, 800 new liquor shops were planned to be opened in the capital.
Licences were issued to private business holders, bringing an instant end to government-sanctioned liquor sales. Under the new law, private businessmen found it easier than previously to get a liquor-selling licence.
The policy was scrapped in July 2022.
Last year, the ED, India's federally run anti-corruption watchdog, and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a case connected with alleged irregularities in the Delhi liquor policy after Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena ordered an investigation.
The legal agencies have alleged that politicians favored selected private players to be granted licences, leading to the government losing millions of rupees.
So far, the agency has arrested 12 people, including Manish Sisodia (then-Delhi deputy state chief), Magunta Raghava Reddy, son of parliamentarian Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy.
The AAP has denied all the allegations on several occasions and has even said that these cases were fake.
Earlier in December, Kavitha was also questioned by the CBI for more than seven hours in connection with the supposed liquor scam.