Officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday conducted searches at the office and residential premises of former MP and Congress candidate from Chennur Assembly constituency Dr. Gaddam Vivekanand in Hyderabad.
Sources said a team of ED officials first visited the residence of Dr. Vivek, as he is known, and searched the premises. Simultaneously, searches were also conducted in the office of another company in Ramagundam of Peddapalli district.
It was pointed out that the searches are apparently carried following a complaint filed by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) candidate from Chennur, Balka Suman, about an alleged transfer of Rs. Eight crore from Visaka Industries, owned by the family of Dr. Vivek, to a security management company sometime ago. A complaint to the Telangana Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), a copy of which is with The Hindu, mentions a suspected transaction Rs. Eight crore from Basheerbagh branch of IDBI to a company in Ramagundam. Mr. Balka Suman alleged in the complaint that the money was transferred to Vigilance Securities Private Limited.
The BRS nominee had raised doubts that the money apparently was being converted into cash for distribution to the voters during the elections. He hard urged the ED and the Income Tax officials to order and inquiry into the alleged financial transaction.
Sources close to the Congress leader told The Hindu that the ED searches pertain to this particular transaction only. “The searches we believe are in connection with the said transaction based on a complaint by BRS candidate from Chennur, Balka Suman,” sources said.
Former MP from Peddapalli Dr. Gaddam Vivekanand has been the target of the ruling BJP and the BRS ever since he parted ways with the BJP at the beginning of the month to join the Congress.
He is contesting the State Assembly elections 2023 on Congress ticket from Chennur constituency in Mancherial district, once represented by his elder brother G. Vinod. His brother is now the Congress nominee from Bellampally SC constituency.
In his political career spanning 15 years, Dr. Vivek has moved from the Congress to BRS (earlier TRS) and then to BJP and now back in the Congress. A strong votary of the separate statehood movement and leading personality behind the Congress MPs in acting as a pressure group to demand bifurcation of united Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Vivek minced no words in taking on the ruling Governments.
Carrying on the legacy of his late father, former Union Minister and CWC member G. Venkataswamy, the former MP was one of the strong critic of the state of affairs in the BJP, when he was sailing with the party since 2019. Protesting the lack of recognition and the domination of a few leaders, he chose to part ways and join the Congress in this November first week. After re-joining the latter, he was named as the Congress candidate from Chennur.
Assets in excess of Rs 500 crore
In the election affidavit submitted along with his nomination papers for the State Assembly Elections 2023, Mr.Vivek has declared movable and immovable assets in excess of ₹500 crore. His movable assets including bank deposits, investments in firms and others are valued at ₹294.67 crore while the current market value of his immovable assets like land and buildings is assessed at ₹209.38 crore.
Mr.Vivek’s wife G. Saroja has movable assets worth ₹45.57 crore and immovable assets like land valued at ₹16.63 crore. The couple declared outstanding loans/dues to banks and financial institutions of ₹34.69 crore in addition to hand loans worth ₹6.85 crore.