Telangana Congress MLA facing ED probe in touch with Himanta

The looming threat of ED action has not only unsettled two prominent Congress leaders, but has also had an effect on the party.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.File photo | PTI

HYDERABAD: As the Lok Sabha elections draw closer, two prominent members of the Congress — a former MP who is currently an MLA and a sitting MP — are barely taking part in the campaign as they grapple with the prospect of Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials summoning them in separate cases before voting day.

The looming threat of ED action has not only unsettled these two leaders, but has also had an effect on the party, if sources are to be believed.

The ED, which initiated a case against the MLA during the Assembly elections, is reportedly expediting its investigation. Sources said that a notice might soon be issued to him, summoning him for questioning. This has come at the worst possible time for the MLA as his close aide has been fielded from a Lok Sabha seat.

If the grapevine is to be believed, the MLA, in an act of desperation, has reached out to one of his contacts in the BJP — Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. He has maintained close friendship with Sarma from his days in the BJP. His purported discussions with Sarma have raised eyebrows among both Congress and BJP leaders.

Meanwhile, legal experts are said to have advised him to exercise caution as the case may fall under the purview of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Nonetheless, the developments have left him and his close associates uneasy as the prospect of summons by the ED looms just before the votes are cast for Lok Sabha elections.

Meanwhile, the sitting MP, who defected from the BRS to the Congress, is worried about ED action over his alleged involvement in a loan fraud case. Complaints filed by BRS leaders with central agencies after he dumped the party have added to the MP’s woes, complicating matters for both him and Congress leaders.

The situation has diverted attention away from the election campaign, with booth in-charges closely monitoring the movements of these two leaders. The Congress cadre are wary of working for the victory of these two leaders or their aides as they fear that there is no guarantee that these embattled politicians would not switch sides to save themselves in case the situation deteriorates.

With the elections looming, the focus has now turned to how the Congress will overcome this unexpected challenge.

MLA seeks help of Assam CM Himanta

The Congress MLA is learnt to have got in touch with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in the hope of getting some relief from the ED. Meanwhile, an MP, who defected to the Congress from the BRS, is said to be facing trouble for his alleged involvement in a loan fraud case.

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