The recent raids on the residence of Tollywood producer Bandla Ganesh Babu by income tax officials have taken a political turn with the TDP alleging that Ganesh is the benami of PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana.
TDP leaders Dadi Veerabhadra Rao and Varla Ramaiah demanded that chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy uncover the source of Ganesh’s earnings.
They also demanded that the government make public how Ganesh, who started his film career as a junior artiste, could earn such huge amounts to invest in big ticket movies.
“How could Ganesh earn money to produce big movies like Gabbar Singh with top heroes within a short span? The government should disclose the name of the politician for whom Ganesh is acting as a front. Is he a benami for the PCC chief Botcha? Or Union minister Chiranjeevi, as his brother Pavan Kalyan has acted in Gabbar Singh?” Veerabhadra Rao asked.
TDP general secretary Varla Ramaiah alleged that Ganesh was acting as the benami of the PCC chief.
“The money invested by Ganesh in various big budget films belongs to Botcha. We demand that the IT department conduct raids on the residences of the PCC chief as well as Gandhi Bhavan, Congress state headquarters, to unearth the facts,” Ramaiah demanded.
Meanwhile, as Ganesh is known to be a close associate of the PCC chief, there is speculation over who could be behind the IT raids.
Some seniors in the Congress, during private talk with scribes, express doubts whether chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has prevailed upon Union finance minister P Chidambaram to conduct IT raids on the residence of Ganesh to corner the PCC chief, who has tried to create trouble to Kiran Reddy by announcing recently that nine pro-Jagan MLAs have been ‘expelled’ from the Congress.
According to party sources, the chief minister, during his recent visit to Delhi, complained against the PCC chief in this regard to his party high command.
As the raids were conducted on Ganesh’s residence exactly a week after Kiran Reddy’s return from Delhi, some Congress leaders express doubts that they could be as per the wish of the chief minister.
Ganesh himself had claimed in the past that Botcha is very close to him. Speaking at a film function a few months ago, Ganesh said he was a close confidant of Botcha. He went on to say that if he is arrested by police, Botcha would get him out regardless of the seriousness of the crime; even if it is a murder.
However, both Ganesh and Botcha claimed several times that there were no financial transactions between them as alleged by the TDP.
On Wednesday, when reporters asked the PCC chief about the TDP’s allegation, he denied having any financial transactions with Ganesh. However, he did not want to say anything further.
Interestingly, Botcha said sometime ago that Ganesh was not an anti-social element and that he was a friend of his family. He also said there were no political connections between him and Ganesh.
Meanwhile, Ganesh too denied the allegation that he is acting as a benami of the PCC chief.
“I am not a benami of anybody. Whatever money I have invested in films, it is my own heard-earned money. I have got it from various businesses run by my family,” he posted on Twitter on Wednesday.