TDP has been determinedly following the liquor syndicate scandal of the Kiran Government in which congress men, police and excise officials looted the state to thousands of crores with support and total involvement of top guns like transport minister Botsa Satyanarayana.
TDP is apprehensive of real culprits behind the benami license holders might go scot free with the Kiran Govt connivance.
The actual players in the liquor syndicate, whom the AP high court wanted theAnti Corruption Bureau to unearth and bring to book, may after all walk away scot-free. This is because the two-year liquor licence is slated to expire next month and indications are that the actual owners of the retail liquor outlets for whom scores of white ration card holders fronted would prefer to lie low for the next 45 days after which the equation will change with the issuing of new licences.
Already, almost all the white ration card holder-owners of the liquor outlets are absconding and according to sources, they have been instructed by their actual bosses to stay out of sight for some time and not fall into ACB hands. So far, of the 3,729 liquor shop ownership records scrutinized by the ACB in 11 districts of the state, 1,613 shops are owned by those possessing white ration cards, accounting for 46% of the total ownership.
With the front owners on the run and the actual owners preferring to lie low, the ACB is unlikely to make much headway in complying with the HC directive of bringing to book the 'benami' owners of such liquor outlets. "The shops owned by the ration card holders are continuing to do business. All the actual owner has to do is wait till June when the new licences will come in place. This time around, they will plug all the loopholes that existed in the current liquor policy, and it will be business as usual," said ACB sources.
However, with the HC having sought the third status report on liquor raids on June 11, the ACB has to continue its investigations.On Friday, it provided details of the liquor store owners in various Telangana districts to the civil supplies department with the request that the latter identify the white ration card holders among them.
Similarly, the ACB sleuths have given the details of the white ration card holding liquor outlet owners to the IT department for the latter to launch a detailed probe into the financial background and transactions made by them.