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Business News/ Politics / News/  Arvind Kejriwal arrest: Who are Maguntas, Sarath Reddy and what's their connection with Delhi excise policy case
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Arvind Kejriwal arrest: Who are Maguntas, Sarath Reddy and what's their connection with Delhi excise policy case

Arvind Kejriwal appeared in court after ED arrest. Details were shared about meeting with MP Magunta Srinivas Reddy. Allegations against father-son duo in Excise Policy case. Reddy's statements changed post son's arrest.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal leaves Rouse Avenue Court (HT_PRINT)Premium
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal leaves Rouse Avenue Court (HT_PRINT)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday submitted in Hindi in the Rouse Avenue Court following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21. Kejriwal said his name had appeared in four statements in the case. People who mentioned Delhi CM in their statements in the Excise Policy case are—C Arvind (former deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's secretary); Magunta Srinivas Reddy (MP from Andhra Pradesh); Reddy's son Raghav Magunta, and Sarath Reddy.

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What Arvind Kejriwal said?

Giving details of the statement in which his name appears, Kejriwal said, “Magunta Srinivas Reddy came to my office at 4.30 pm on March 16, 2021. He had sent an e-mail to my office that he is an MP and wanted to meet me. My office gave him an appointment to meet me after 10 days. He came over and said I want to open my family's charitable trust in Delhi. I told him that land does not come under us, it comes under the Lieutenant Governor (LG)."

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Arvind Kejriwal asked Magunta Srinivas Reddy to give him the letter, which he would forward to the Lieutenant Governor. 

Magunta Srinivas Reddy is an MP from Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Jagan Mohan Reddy's party, the YSRCP. 

The Delhi CM said on September 16, 2022, Srinivas Reddy's house was raided, and the ED asked him whether he had met Kejriwal. When Reddy replied in the affirmative, saying his meeting was about seeking land for his family's trust, the ED was “not happy", and later, the agency arrested his son in February 2023.

“When the son remains arrested for five months, the father changes his statement. He changed his statement on July 16, 2023, and his son was released on July 18. Mission accomplished. That means the only mission of the ED was to get me trapped," Kejriwal said.

ED accuses Delhi CM of 'evasive replies', Arvind Kejriwal says ‘keep me in custody

The Delhi Chief Minister further said Magunta Srinivas Reddy gave three statements to the agency, but only one was considered.

Further, Kejriwal said even Raghav Magunta, son of Magunta Srinivas Reddy, gave seven statements to ED, six of which were not against “Kejriwal." However, the Delhi CM added that as soon as he gave the seventh statement, which was against him, Magunta was released from jail. 

Excise policy case: Court extends ED custody of Arvind Kejriwal till April 1

On Sarath Reddy, Kejriwal told the court, “After he was kept in jail for six months, he (Sarath Chandra Reddy) finally succumbed and gave another statement on April 25, 2023. The only thing he said against me was that he had gone to meet the CM along with Vijay Nair."

Who are Magunta Srinivas Reddy and Raghav Magunta, and their connection with Delhi excise policy?

Currently, the four-time MP, Magunta Srinivas Reddy, and his son are busy campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh, and Srinivas Reddy is expected to get a Lok Sabha ticket from Ongole.

In Delhi's excise policy case, the ED alleged that the father-son duo are part of the “South Group," whose members received undue benefits under the liquor policy designed by the AAP government in Delhi.

MS Reddy's name first appeared in September 2022, and ED began a raid at his office and premises in New Delhi, Nellore, and Chennai. However, he was never made an accused in the case.

In February 2023, ED arrested Raghav on money laundering charges. Kejriwal told Rouse Avenue Court on Thursday that Srinivas Reddy changed previous statements to the ED following Raghav's arrest.

The father-son duo joined N Chandrababu Naidu's TDP this year on February 28. A former Congressman, Srinivas Reddy, quit the party before the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and joined the TDP. However, after losing in the 2014 general election, MS Reddy joined the YSRCP and won from Ongole in 2019. After five years with YSRCP, MS Reddy returned to TDP this year.

The Indian Express report, citing sources, said that the excise case was a reason behind the father-son duo quitting the YSRCP, as the party did not back them after Raghav’s arrest.

The Magunta family owns Balaji Distilleries and two other companies in Andhra Pradesh and has been in the liquor business for over seven decades.

Who is Sarath Reddy, and what is his connection with Delhi liquor policy case?

Sarath Reddy is the director of Aurobindo Pharma. According to the AAP supremo and Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, Sarath Reddy donated 50 crore to the BJP after ED's arrest. The anti-money laundering agency had arrested Reddy in November 2022. In 2023, the Delhi court allowed the businessman to turn approver in the alleged excise policy scam and granted him a pardon in the case. Kejriwal asserted that Sarath Reddy was coerced into paying the BJP a staggering 55 crore as protection money.

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Published: 29 Mar 2024, 09:16 AM IST
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