In a pre-dawn swoop, ED sleuths descend on properties of BRS MLA Mahipal Reddy and brother amid money laundering probe

The ED apparently acted on the complaint that Santosh Sand and Granite owned by Madhusudan Reddy had been doing illegal mining for over a year despite a closure order.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jun 20, 2024 | 4:04 PM Updated Jun 20, 2024 | 6:50 PM

In a pre-dawn swoop, ED sleuths descend on properties of BRS MLA Mahipal Reddy and brother amid money laundering probe

In a pre-dawn swoop, the sleuths of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided several locations in the erstwhile Medak district and Hyderabad on Thursday, 20 June, owned by Patancheru BRS MLA Gudem Mahipal Reddy, his brother Madhusudhan Reddy and their benamis, seeking evidence of suspected money laundering in the illegal quarrying and stone crushing business owned by Madhusudhan Reddy.

Interestingly, the raids took place after speculation went wild that Mahipal Reddy and three other BRS MLAs from the erstwhile Medak District were planning to join the Congress government in the state after it had Madhusudhan Reddy arrested for illegal mining and quarrying in March.

Madhusudhan Reddy however came out of the jail on bail later. The ED officials also descended on the locations of the relatives of Madhusudhan Reddy in Nizampet in Hyderabad.

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Allegations of illegal mining despite closure order

The ED is understood to have swung into action after learning that money laundering on a huge sale has taken place.

Its suspicion was further strengthened when the Mines and Geology Department of Telangana government slapped a penalty of ₹340 crore on Madhusudhan Reddy prior to his arrest in March for doing illegal business.

The ED apparently acted on the complaint that Santosh Sand and Granite owned by Madhusudan Reddy had been doing illegal mining for about one year despite the closure order issued by the Pollution Control Board when the BRS government was in power.

The Congress government’s notice to Madhusudan Reddy to pay up ₹341 crore in penalties alone is understood to have made the ED suspects that it was only the tip of the iceberg.

The Gudem Brothers came into the cross hairs of the Congress government after it learnt that Madhusudhan Reddy ignored the closure notice issued by the Telangana Pollution Control Board and continued mining illegally in 10-acre area, exceeding what had been permitted in Lakdaram village in erstwhile Medak district.

His arrest in March took place amidst high drama as a huge contingent of police was deployed while he was being taken into custody.

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BJP’s political maneuvering at the expense of BRS

The BRS activists protested against what they called illegal arrest and Mahipal Reddy had said that Madhusudan Reddy was clean as a whistle and that he would come out of the case unscathed.

The raid by the ED officials evoked political interest as the BJP is also on the head-hunt to strengthen its base in Telangana at the expense of the BRS. The BJP is already on course in building the cadres to capture power in the state in the next Assembly elections.

The obvious political resource it could tap into is the BRS, which it did to a great extent in the Lok Sabha elections, resulting in BRS drawing a blank.

As Mahipal Reddy and Madhusudhan Reddy apparently had their own skeletons in their cupboards, they toyed with the idea of joining the Congress.

In a prelude to this, Mahipal Reddy and three other BRS MLAs from the district had an ice-breaking meeting with the chief minister in January.

They were, apart from Mahipal Reddy, Kotha Prabhakar Reddy (Dubbak), K Mannik Rao (Zaheerabad) and V Sunitha Laxma Reddy (Narsapur). Though they denied that they planned to join the grand old party, the doubts continued to linger in the minds of the BRS leaders.

Now that the ED officials have landed at the Mahipal Reddy and Madhusudan Reddy’s locations, it has made one wonder if it was the BJP’s way of hijacking them, away from the Congress.

Either way, it is double whammy for Mahipal Reddy and Madhusudan Reddy as they face heat from both the state government and the Enforcement Directorate.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)

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