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LS polls: AAP questions TDP move to field father of approver in excise case | Latest News Delhi

Delhi ministers and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Saurabh Bharadwaj and Atishi on Saturday questioned the move of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to field Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy as its Lok Sabha candidate in Andhra Pradesh. Magunta is the father of Raghav Magunta Reddy, who has turned approver in the Delhi liquor policy case.

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During a press conference at the AAP office, party leaders claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP will campaign for the family of a man who is a key witness against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in the probe linked to the Delhi excise policy case. “On Friday, TDP, a constituent party of the National Democratic Alliance, made Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy their MP candidate (for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections). This means the PM and BJP will seek votes for the witness’s family that gave statements against Kejriwal. Both father and son joined the BJP’s ally, TDP, on February 28. And on March 29, Magunta Reddy received a ticket from the TDP to contest the Lok Sabha elections,” Bharadwaj said.

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TDP fielded Magunta Reddy from the Ongole Lok Sabha seat. He and his son switched to TDP from the YSR Congress last year. Magunta Reddy is a four-time MP from Ongole and his name also surfaced in the excise case.

“In the alleged liquor case, in two statements, Magunta Reddy said that there was no discussion between him and Kejriwal regarding the excise policy. But after his son’s arrest, he succumbed and gave a third statement against Kejriwal. Similarly, Raghav Reddy also did not mention the CM’s name in six statements, but the seventh statement against the CM made him a government witness, and he got bail,” Bharadwaj said.

Kejriwal, who is in the custody of Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the liquor policy case, named Magunta and Raghav Reddy during his submissions in the court on Thursday. Kejriwal told the court his arrest was based on four statements, including those of two witnesses, Magunta and Raghav. “Raghav Reddy was arrested on February 10, 2023, and was sent to jail. He was harassed in jail for five months. After that, he changed his statement on July 16, 2023 and gave a statement against Kejriwal for the first time. On July 18, 2023, Raghav Reddy got bail. Also, on October 3, 2023, he became a government witness,” said Bharadwaj.

HT reached out to Magunta Srinivasalu Reddy but did not receive any response to requests for a comment.

BJP leaders did not comment on the development.

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