The Bharatiya Janata Party has filed a petition before the Ethics Committee of the Rajya Sabha seeking to disqualify two Telugu Desam Party members who face allegations of fraud and tax evasion, PTI reported on Thursday.
BJP parliamentarian GVL Narasimha Rao, who filed the petition, told reporters on Thursday that Y Satyanarayana Chowdary and CM Ramesh are the “Mallyas of AP [Andhra Pradesh]”, referring to Vijay Mallya, the fugitive businessman and former Rajya Sabha member.
“Rajya Sabha suffered a serious dent to its image because of the allegations against Vijay Mallya,” Rao said. “The case of YS Chowdary is even more dangerous as his business operations remain shady,” he added, alleging that Chowdary had borrowed crores using his political clout.
Rao said that investigations by the Enforcement Directorate have shown that Chowdary’s companies had borrowed Rs 5,700 crore from banks and diverted them to several shell companies. He also wanted Chowdary to recuse himself from the Ethics Committee since the petition is filed against him.
Rao alleged that Ramesh was involved in benami operations and evaded income tax running into hundreds of crores. “His public conduct has also been repugnant and unbecoming of a member of Parliament,” he added.
Rao said that the two MPs were close to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, giving rise to suspicion that they were operating at his behest. “It was only to protect his cronies that Chandrababu decided to bar the CBI from entering Andhra Pradesh,” Rao said. Earlier this month, the state government withdrew the “general consent” provided to the Central Bureau of Investigation to carry out searches in the state.
“The stature of Parliament and public faith in this great institution has been seriously damaged because of the cases of financial misappropriation,” Rao said in his letter to the Ethics Committee.
An unidentified spokesperson of the Telugu Desam Party said the party high command is yet to take a decision on the matter.
The Telugu Desam Party had quit the National Democratic Alliance, led by the BJP, in March this year, over the Centre’s refusal to grant Andhra Pradesh special status. Chandrababu Naidu has met Opposition leaders across the country in a bid to forge a third front against the BJP and the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.