It is now the turn of BRS MLA Pilot Rohith Reddy, who was one of the four ruling-party MLAs in Telangana whom the BJP allegedly tried to poach, to face the officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The directorate has also issued notice to Tollywood actor Rakulpreet Singh to appear before its officials for the second time in connection with the infamous Tollywood drugs case from 2017.
The Central investigation agency sent the notices to the two to appear before its officials on Monday, 19 December, in Hyderabad.
The ED said it wanted details of the Tandur MLA’s financial transactions with a few businessmen since 2014.
He is the latest from the BRS — which is in power in Telangana — to come under the ED’s scrutiny.
As far as Rakul Preet Singh was concerned, the ED wanted to examine her regarding possible money laundering in the Tollywood drugs case.
Scanner on Rohith Reddy
Rohit Reddy happens to be the main complainant in what has come to be known as the Cash for MLAs case.
He complained to the police that three emissaries of the BJP tried to bribe him and three other BRS MLAs in return for joining the saffron party.
He said in the complaint that the approach was made in a farmhouse in Moinabad in Hyderabad on 26 October.
A Special Investigation Department (SIT) constituted by the Telangana government is probing the case.
Rohith Reddy confirmed to reporters that he had received a notice issued by the ED, and that he would cooperate with the probe agency.
Sources said the ED has asked him for his Aadhaar and PAN details. He said he was seeking legal opinion on the notice.
The ED is expected to grill the MLA over his suspected involvement in possible violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in a drug case in Bengaluru from three years ago.
The case was registered after allegations that drugs were allegedly used at a party hosted by a film producer in Bengaluru.
It was learnt that Rohith Reddy attended the party, as did several eminent personalities, including two businessmen.
Tollywood probe continues
As far as Rakul Preet Singh is concerned, the ED already grilled her on 3 September in the 2017 Tollywood drugs case.
At that time, the ED could not continue questioning her for long as she left midway citing an emergency.
The probe agency appears keen on tying up some loose ends on her possible involvement in money laundering in the case.
It was the Telangana Prohibition and Excise Department that investigated the Tollywood drugs case in 2017.
Owing to the importance of the case, as celebrities were involved, the state government constituted an SIT to probe it.
The Excise Department arrested several peddlers, including a few foreign nationals, after registering a case against them under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The SIT officials, during the course of the investigation, quizzed several celebrities from the Telugu film industry, including actors Ravi Teja and Charmme Kaur and director Puri Jagannadh.
After the Excise Department investigated the case and filed chargesheets in the court, the ED filed a petition in the Telangana High Court and secured a direction to the state government to transfer the documents related to the case to it as it had to investigate the PMLA angle in the case.
The ED went to the high court after the Excise Department did not hand over the files, citing legal complications.