Income Tax officials conducted a raid on Wednesday on the house of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Trust Board Chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav in Proddatur in Kadapa district. Sudhakar is also a leader of Andhra Pradeshâ€™s ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and is the candidate from Mydukur.
According to media reports, the raids began around 3 pm and lasted for over five hours. The family members of the senior leader, however, told reporters after the I-T officials left, that they fully cooperated with the officers and no documents were seized from the residence.
The TDP leader is the chairman of PSK Infrastructures and Projects Limited, a noted construction firm in the state.
â€śAll papers of our company are in order. All the records have been filed in a systematic manner and we are willing to show,â€ť Sudhakar told a local media outlet after the raid.
He also alleged that it was a conspiracy by the opposition YSRCP in the state, in collusion with the BJP-led Centre, as they were afraid of losing in Andhra Pradesh.
The raid triggered protests from others, including Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRC) Chairman Venkata Subba Reddy and TDP MP CM Ramesh. The duo staged a protest outside Sudhakarâ€™s residence, suggesting to the media that the Centre was targeting their party leaders. They also defended Sudhakar.
Ramesh also questioned the intention behind the raids and demanded that the officers reveal their findings publicly in front of the media. â€śI wish to inform the I-T officials in Andhra Pradesh through the media that the Centre is using you as pawns. Please donâ€™t fall for it,â€ť Ramesh said.
The latest raid came a day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday said it has attached immovable and movable properties of Viceroy Hotels Ltd. in Hyderabad, worth Rs 315 crore, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 in a bank fraud case. These properties were part of Sujana group of companies, owned by former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP, YS Chowdary of the TDP.