Notices to three Andhra legislators in liquor pay-off scam

June 9th, 2012 - 5:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, June 9 (IANS) The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Andhra Pradesh Saturday issued notices to three legislators in liquor pay-off case.

Ruling Congress party lawmaker M. Kavitha and main opposition Telugu Desam Party’s lawmakers Venkata Veeraiah and V. Ramakrishna Babu have been asked to appear before the ACB for questioning.

All the three are members of state assembly. The ACB also issued notices to some former legislators and leaders of various political parties, asking them to appear before it June 18, 19 and 20. All of them allegedly received bribes from liquor mafia.

The other leaders who were issued notices include the CPI’s former legislator Puvvada Nageswara Rao, former Congress legislator and now YSR Congress Party candidate from Yemmiganur assembly constituency K. Chenna Kesava Reddy, and state cabinet minister Dharmana Prasada Rao’s son and Youth Congress leader D. Ram Manohar Naidu.

It was not immediately clear if the ACB also sent notice to former state minister Mopidevi Venkataramana, who is now in jail in YSR Congress Party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s case of amassing illegal wealth.

Venkataramana was excise minister at the time of his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last month.

A liquor trader in February had alleged that he paid a bribe of Rs.10 lakh to the minister.

The ACB has been probing the liquor scam since late last year. The investigations so far have revealed that the liquor traders, excise and police officials and politicians had formed liquor syndicates in districts.

The liquor traders, running the business in the names of others, selling liquor at prices higher than those fixed by the excise department and committing other irregularities, are paying bribes to politicians of all hues, officials and even journalists in some districts to continue their activity.

While the ACB has arrested dozens of liquor traders, their employees, and excise and police officials, this is the first time that it is focusing on the role of politicians.

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