Kommineni Srinivasa Rao

The scale and scope of frauds allegedly committed by former Union minister and TDP Rajya Sabha member Sujana Chowdary is staggering to say the least. It leads one to pose the question, are such frauds possible? These are economic offences on a massive scale involving several bogus or shell companies which carried out illegal activities. These included raising invoices and claiming GST concession for such invoices, borrowing heavily from banks and diverting the funds to shell companies. The CBI and Enforcement Directorate have now begun to unravel the complex ways in which these frauds were committed by Sujana Chowdary's group. The TDP leader enjoyed immunity by virtue of his position as union minister and TDP Parliamentary party leader. The fact that TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu nominated him as Rajya Sabha leader in-spite of all the scams that he was involved in, is a reflection of the strong nexus between the two.

The yellow media would have gone to town had it been any other party and its leaders indulging in such scams. However, it looks the other way when it involves the TDP. Do yellow media outlets think that these are not economic offences? In the past, didn't these Pro-TDP media megaphones launch a propaganda against YSRCP chief YS Jagan and investments in his companies? How come the very same yellow media outlets seem to find anything wrong with masive scams in Sujana Chowdary's companies? The Times of India carried a detailed report on the modus operandi of Sujana group of companies in these frauds. The report revealed that without any real supply or sale invoices were generated. It pointed out an Ashok Leyland truck has the capacity to carry only 22 metric tonnes of load but the invoices raised were for 44 metric tonnes.

Similarly, Eicher truck which can carry a load of 9.5 tonnes was shown as bearing a load of 45 metric tonnes. All this came to light during the raids conducted by CBI and GST officials. Documents reveal that these frauds had been ongoing at the time Sujana Chowdary was union minister. He borrowed approximately Rs 370 crores from Andhra Bank, Central bank and other financial institutions and diverted huge sums to his shell companies. These Frauds are beyond the imagination of the average citizen. All these skeletons are now tumbling out of Sujana's closet after non-repayment of loans and after the TDP quit the NDA coalition. Though Chandrababu Naidu and his party leaders tried to depict this as vindictiveness on the part of the Centre, the argument does not seem to hold water. The buzz is that though there were allegations against Sujana Chowdary for a long time, Chandrababu made him an MP and recommended him for a berth in the Central ministry only because of the financial transactions between them.Political circles say that Sujana Chowdary funded the TDP campaign in 2014 to the extent of several 100 crores. Subsequently, his nomination as cabinet minister at the Centre attracted widespread criticism. The BJP justified his inclusion as a matter of discretion of the TDP, its ally. It is natural for anyone to question Chandrababu on his silence in the current situation. Sujana Chowdary has been ducking the question of his involvement, claiming that he has nothing to do with the companies in question and has even avoided appearing before the CBI which summoned him. He has also dragged some key persons at the state and Central level through the mud in trying to shield himself. The involvement of former CBI director Vijay Ramarao's son needs to be seen in this context. It is said that Sujana Chowdary's debts in banks run close to those of Vijay Mallya's. Additionally, GST frauds and shell companies add to the seriousness of these economic offences.

In the past few years, several such frauds were committed in India and lakhs of crores of rupees borrowed by big defaulters remain unpaid. It would be ruinous to the country's economy if such big fish are allowed to get away behind the shield of political power.

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