Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest linked to this pharma firm’s electoral bonds to BJP


On March 21, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested in the Delhi excise policy case after he skipped nine summons by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED). 

On March 15, K Kavitha, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader and daughter of former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, was also arrested by the ED over her alleged money laundering role in the same case.

Follow LIVE UPDATES about Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest here

On March 21, the day Kejriwal was arrested, Election Commission of India uploaded the details of political funding by individuals and corporates through now-scrapped Electoral bonds. The data has an uncanny connection with the Delhi Liquor Policy case as reported first by the Scroll.in. The report is part of ‘Project Electoral Bond’, in which Scroll analysed Electoral Bonds Data in collaboration with the Newslaundry and the NewsMinute.

Hyderabad-based Pharma Firm

A pharma company whose director is K Kavitha’s co-accused, and who eventually turned to be an approver in the Liquor Policy case, donated 5 crore worth of Electoral Bonds to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The donations were made five days after he was arrested by the the ED, the report says.

Hyderabad-based businessman P Sarath Chandra Reddy is one of the directors of Aurobindo Pharma Limited. The company was founded by Sarath Chandra Reddy’s father PV Ram Prasad Reddy. ED arrested Sarath Chandra Reddy in connection with the liquor scam case on November 10, 2022.  Reddy is the non-executive director of the firm.

Also Read : Can Arvind Kejriwal run government from behind the bars? Here is what the law says

And on November 15, his company Aurobindo Pharma bought electoral bonds worth 5 crore, the report says. All the bonds were encashed by the BJP on November 21, 2022, according to the details in the State Bank of India-provided data released by the Election Commission on Thursday.

Approver in Liquor Policy Case

Seven months after his arrest by ED, Sarath Chandra Reddy decided to be the approver in the case in June 2023. And in November 2023, Aurobindo Pharma gave another 25 crore to the BJP, the scroll report says. In all, the firm purchased electoral bonds worth 52 crore. Of this, 34.5 crore went to the BJP, 15 crore to Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and 2.5 crore to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), according to the Scroll.in report.

Sarath was charged by ED of playing a key role in moving kickbacks in the liquor licensing process in Delhi, when the policy was implemented for a few months by the Arvind Kejrwial-led government in 2021-22. Sarath and Kavitha are among individuals from the southern states referred to as the “South Group” by the investigation agency.

Also Read : Arvind Kejriwal arrested: Delhi CM 4th high profile to be arrested in Delhi excise policy case | The list

This ‘South Group’ is accused of South giving kickbacks worth 100 crore to Aam Aadmi Party through Vijay Nair, who was in charge of the party’s communications. The agency alleged that this amount was paid to gain control over the liquor business in Delhi, and that the money was used by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during the 2022 Goa Assembly polls.

A Delhi court allowed Sarath to turn approver in the case on June 1, 2023. Two other members of this group, YSR Congress Party’s MP M Sreenivasulu Reddy and his son Raghav, have also turned approvers in the case, along with Delhi-based businessman Dinesh Arora.

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Published: 22 Mar 2024, 07:54 AM IST


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