Former TDP MLA, son held for transport business ‘fraud’

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Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad | Published: June 14, 2020 4:36:20 am

Former TDP MLA, son held for transport business ‘fraud’ TDP leader Prabhakar Reddy being taken into custody. (PTI)

Former Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLA J C Prabhakar Reddy and his son Asmit Reddy were arrested for alleged irregularities in their transport business in Anantapur district on Saturday, a day after TDP MLA and former minister K Atchannaidu was arrested in an alleged ESI scam.

The duo are accused of purchasing buses from a private company as scrap and running them as regular buses through transport company Diwakar Travels, thereby endangering public safety by plying unsafe vehicles, forging documents and producing fake vehicle insurance policies.

Sources in ruling YSR Congress Party said many TDP leaders will face the heat as the government opens investigations into contracts, business dealings, land purchases and irrigation projects during the Naidu government’s tenure. An investigation is already underway into alleged insider trading by TDP leaders in Amaravati. On June 11, the government agreed to order a CBI investigation into alleged irregularities in the implementation of AP Fibernet and other schemes.

“The noose is tightening. Any TDP leader, even if it is N Lokesh Naidu, will face action if involved in corruption,” YSRCP spokesperson and MLA Ambati Rambabu said. The government has also ordered probes into the Polavaram and Pattiseema irrigation projects.

The state road transport department had filed 24 complaints at Anantapur Town police station and three in Kurnool. Prabhakar Reddy was the MLA from Tadipatri Assembly constituency and lost in the May 2019 elections. He is the younger brother of TDP leader J C Diwakar Reddy.

Officials claimed the buses purchased by Reddy were of Bharat Stage III, which were banned by the Supreme Court from April 1, 2017. The buses were registered in the names of Jatadhara Industries and C Gopal Reddy, an associate of Prabhakar Reddy.

“As of now we know that they purchased 154 vehicles of BS III emission standards sold as scrap — Jatadhara Industries bought 50 vehicles and C Gopal Reddy bought 104. They were registered as BS IV vehicles in various parts of the country, including at RTA Ananthapur, in the names of Jatadhara Industries and C Gopal Reddy. The transport department has blocked and cancelled the registration of 101 buses and seized 60 buses while 41 are yet to be traced. About 28 vehicles are in other states and transport authorities there have been informed to block and seize vehicles,’” Transport Minister Perni Venkataramaiah told The Indian Express.

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