Hyderabad: Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate officials conducted searches at the residence and offices of former Union minister and Telugu Desam Party MP YS Chowdary in Hyderabad on Friday and Saturday to probe allegations of money laundering and other financial irregularities.
The raids on Chandrababu Naidu’s close aide come just days after the Andhra Pradesh chief minister blocked central agencies from conducting raids in his state, accusing them of targeting his ministers.
The TDP government had issued orders on November 8, withdrawing ‘general consent’ it had earlier given to CBI and other central agencies to operate within its territory.
A source close to Chowdary, popularly known as Sujana Chowdary as he owns Sujana Group of Industries, confirmed the raids. The ED officials and taxmen swooped on the offices of Sujana Group to investigate an earlier CBI case.
Chowdary was a minister of state in Narendra Modi cabinet. He held the science and technology portfolio till March, when the TDP pulled out of the NDA demanding special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
The ED had reportedly found emails in which shell company directors were communicating with Sujana. ED sources said officials conducted the searches at Sujana group offices to find out the beneficiary in cases of alleged diversion of bank loans.
The officials were divided into different teams and began searches at his company offices including Splendid Metal Products Ltd and Sujana Universal Industries at Nagarjuna Hills in the city.
Raids were also conducted on Chowdary’s head office at Jubilee Hills. They are learnt to have seized several documents relating to the alleged financial irregularities.
Naidu, while blocking the central investigation agencies, had accused them of following the BJP’s political agenda and targeting opposition party leaders. His move was praised by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee, whose government soon after also withdrew the general consent.