BRS MLA, who reported ‘poaching’ attempt, appears before ED

Telanagana’s ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLA Pilot Rohith Reddy on Monday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday in connection with the alleged money laundering probe.

Before entering the ED regional office in Hyderabad, the MLA told reporters that he had no idea about the case in which he was summoned and came to enquire about the case in which he was served the notice.

He said he was served the notice on December 15 but had no idea about the case in which he was asked to appear.

The MLA said that since he is on “Ayyappa deeksha”, he sought time till December 31 but the ED officials did not agree. “As a law-abiding citizen, I have come to the ED office and I will fully cooperate with the agency,” he said.

The MLA from Tandur appeared before the ED officials after 3 p.m.

Earlier, his personal assistant went to the ED’s regional office on Monday morning and submitted a letter from the MLA seeking more time to appear.

The ED, in its notice served on December 15, had directed Rohith Reddy to appear on December 19 at 10.30 a.m. along with details of bank accounts, financial transactions and income tax returns.

The MLA conveyed to the agency that he needs time to put together the information sought by the agency. However, the ED officials made it clear that he has to personally appear on Monday.

Rohith Reddy earlier met Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and is understood to have explained to him about the notices served on him. KCR is believed to have told him not to worry as it was expected from the central agencies since he was the complainant in the MLAs’ poaching case.

The MLA alleged that the BJP government at the Centre is using the ED, the CBI and the Income Tax Department to harass BRS leaders.

The ED notice is reportedly for questioning him in alleged money laundering in the investigation related to a drugs case. Reddy, however, dismissed the allegation by state BJP chief Bandi Sanjay that Karnataka Police served him the notice in the drugs case.

The MLA from Tandur was the petitioner in the alleged conspiracy to poach BRS MLAs.

Acting on a tip-off by Rohit Reddy, police had arrested Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Nandu Kumar, and Simhayaji Swamy from a farmhouse at Moinabad on October 26 when they were allegedly trying to lure four BRS MLAs to defect to the BJP.

Rohith Reddy alleged that the accused offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs 50 crore each to the other MLAs.

The Telangana government on November 9 constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case.

The three accused were granted bail by the Telangana High Court on December 1.

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