“Not One Above Law”: Telangana Minister Back From Dubai Amid Agency Raids

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'No One Above Law': Telangana Minister Back From Dubai After Raids In Mining Case

Gangula Kamalakar at the airport in Hyderabad.

Hyderabad:

Telangana minister Gangula Kamalakar returned from Dubai hours after his properties were searched by the Enforcement Directorate in an illegal mining and money laundering case, and said he has nothing to hide. “I have been in the (mining) business for 32 years, and have always worked within the purview of law, in a transparent manner,” he told reporters last night at the airport.

“No one is above the law, so I will cooperate. That is why I returned within 12 hours. I will clarify everything and go back to Dubai,” he said as he headed for Karimnagar, his constituency. He had gone to Dubai for a family trip.

In Karimnagar, inspections by the central agency ED and an Income Tax team are likely to continue today, after a 10 am-to-8.30 pm operation yesterday. The 12-member team, including three Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers, had come to the minister’s house in 12 vehicles. They carried important documents in seven bags.

Mr Kamalakar, Minister for Backward Classes Welfare, Food and Civil Supplies, has granite firms in Karimnagar. A case was filed against him in 2012 alleging the exchequer lost some Rs 750 crore due to his “illegal” operations. BJP leaders had complained against him again in November last year.

The ED action against the minister is likely to further fuel the fight between the BJP and the TRS government led by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (‘KCR’), who has alleged the Narendra Modi government of misusing central agencies to harass non-BJP leaders.

The ED raids also come less than a week after the Telangana Rashtra Samithi — recently renamed Bharat Rashtra Samithi for a national footprint (Election Commission’s nod pending) — won an assembly bypoll in Munugode.

KCR has also alleged that the BJP has been trying to bribe the party’s MLAs to switch sides.

The BJP has denied the allegations and gone to the High Court which, upon the BJP’s request, allowed the state police to look into the allegations by KCR’s party.

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