The cash-for-vote scam in Telangana, which rocked the state when it first came to light in 2015, seems to have returned to haunt those accused in the case. In the latest development, the Uppal police on Monday said that they arrested M Ranadeep Reddy, an associate of R Uday Simha, who is a close aide of main accused Revanth Reddy.
However, Ranadeep and the police gave different accounts to the media, of what exactly happened.
The police said that they had detained him after they found gold, cash and a hard disk in his possession while conducting checks near the Little Flower Junior College in Uppal on Monday.
â€śRanadeep was taken to the police station for questioning. One gold chain, two necklaces, two ear studs, all weighing 14.14 tolas, Rs 1.94 lakh unaccounted cash, one key that appeared to be of a bank locker, one jute bag, two SBI covers, one hard disk and one Deccan Grameena Bank cover were recovered from him. He could not furnish proper information about the property in his possession.â€ť Uppal Inspector Venkateshwaralu was quoted as saying.
According to media reports, Ranadeep Reddy, a financial consultant, is an old friend of Uday Simha, who himself, is one of the accused in the cash-for-vote scam.
Tension prevailed on Monday night as Ranadeep's family members lodged a missing person complaint at the LB Nagar police station on Monday after reports started doing the rounds that he had been picked up by Income Tax officials. However, I-T officials denied such a claim.
Speculation was rife as Uday Simha himself, had been raided by I-T officials just a day before the incident.
However, speaking to local media outlets, Ranadeep claimed that Task Force officials had posed as I-T officials and picked him up from his house on Sunday night.
â€śAfter questioning me in a separate room, they seized gold jewellery, cash, and a computer hard disk and took me to the Task Force office in Secunderabad, As there was no communication from my end for so long, my family members got worried and approached the L.B. Nagar police to lodge a complaint about my disappearance on Monday,â€ť he told reporters.
Officials of the Task Force are yet to comment on the developments.
Last week, officials of the Income Tax department reportedly conducted raids at the properties belonging to Congress leader Revanth Reddy in Hyderabad and across Telangana on Thursday morning. His house on Road Number 45 in Jubilee Hills and his properties in Kodangal in Mahbubnagar district were raided.
Revanth Reddy, who joined Congress after quitting the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 2017, was recently appointed as the working president of the party. He is often seen as a bitter critic of the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Revanth Reddy was caught red-handed by the ACB on May 31, 2015, while he was offering Rs 50 lakh to Independent MLA Stephenson to make him vote for the TDP-BJP candidate in the elections to the Telangana legislative council.
ACB, which had laid a trap on a complaint by Stephenson, also arrested Revanth Reddy's aides. TRS leaders have been alleging that TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is the mastermind in the scam and he should be booked.
The ACB had earlier said that there were 516 telephone conversation records in the phone of Sebastian, one of the aides arrested, of which 102 are related to the cash-for-vote case.
In May, KCR's decision to hold a review meeting on the controversial case had triggered a massive political row.
Revanth Reddy had held a press meet, where he told reporters, â€śUnable to digest opposition leaders pointing out his fault, KCR, on the orders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is playing this game. It is because of this that he called for the meeting and ensured that the newspapers and other media channels reported it.â€ť