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The Hyderabad Connection

The opposition Telugu Desam claims that two of the key accused in the VVIP chopper kickbacks scandal, Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, have links with Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy's family

The Hyderabad Connection
The Hyderabad Connection
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

As clues to the AgustaWestland chopper scam go around in circles, a link to Andhra Pradesh is emerging. The opposition Telugu Desam claims that two of the key accused in the VVIP chopper kickbacks scandal, Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, have links with Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy's family. When YSR was Chief Minister, his government placed an order for an AgustaWestland 139 helicopter. While the basic cost of the chopper was pegged at Rs 44 crore, the price when it was ultimately delivered to the State touched Rs 65 crore. TDP officials say for the purpose of making the purchase, officials of the AP government visited Italy thrice.

The Agusta was supposed to be better than the Bell chopper which the government was using at the time to ferry around VIPs. This particular model of Agusta is a 16-seater passenger version, all-weather resistant, capable of staying airborne for long, and can operate on auto-pilot. However, despite all these advantages, officials of the AP Aviation Academy felt there were still some technical glitches with the AgustaWestland 139. This is why on the fateful day of September 2, 2009, when YSR crashed to death in the Nallamalla forests in Kurnool district, he flew on a Bell chopper.

When K Rosaiah took over as CM, he used the Agusta twice and current CM Kiran Kumar Reddy not even once. The AgustaWestland chopper was parked at the old Begumpet airport. In a fire mishap on December 18, 2012, the Agusta and six other aircraft were completely gutted. The fire was so intense that it completely destroyed the hangar constructed during the Second World War. TDP leaders voice the suspicion that the fire may not have been an accident at all.

The AP links of Gerosa lie in a Christian NGO, Arbor Charitable Foundation, which works for the uplift of rural women in the district of Khammam. He served as director of the Foundation from August 2008 till March 2010. Prior to the 2009 elections, YSR's son-in-law Brother Anil Kumar and some religious heads of the Arbor Foundation ran a campaign in Khammam seeking votes for the Congress and YSR. A case was subsequently filed against Brother Anil for violating the electoral code of conduct and seeking votes in the name of religion. Sister Daisy, who is a director in the AP chapter of the foundation, is close to the YSR family, says TD MLA Revanth Reddy. He digs out a fact from the past saying YSR stayed at Sister Daisy's charity school during his padayatra in 2003 and the ties have continued since then. While not stating a clear link between Brother Anil and Gerosa, TDP member in Rajya Sabha Devender Goud says Brother Anil paid several trips to Khammam after the AgustaWestland deal was signed and seemed to have become substantially richer. His links with Arbor Foundation led him to make several trips to Khammam, the TDP MP says.

The TDP even alleges that the YSR government allotted lands to Arbor Foundation in Mahabubnagar district. The BJP says that Brother Anil's sudden rise in wealth runs on similar lines as that of YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy's story. BJP spokesperson NVSS Prabhakar wonders how an evangelist like Brother Anil made huge investments in several companies and gives out the following list:

Cormic Health Care Private Limited
Swasti Power Limited
Pinnacle Green Power Private Limited
Srs Energy Private Limited
Xs Hydro Energy Private Limited
Bio Nutrica Indian Private Limited
Miracle Formulations India Private Limited
Vijaya Green Power Private Limited
R.r. Agri Dairy India Private Limited
Anjili Infrastructure Private Limited
Pavana Ganga Power Private Limited

YSR's daughter and Brother Anil's wife Sharmila too has investments in the following companies, says the BJP:

Pinnacle Green Power Private Limited
Srs Energy Private Limited
Anjili Infrastructure Private Limited
R.r. Agri Diary India Private Limited
Vijaya Green Power Private Limited
Xs Hydro Energy Private Limited

"It is obvious that Brother Anil played a role in the AgustaWestand deal. His association with Arbor Foundation and evangelist activities formed a nice cover," alleges Revanth Reddy.

Meanwhile, Guido Ralph Haschke, the other key accused in Agusta deal, served as a non-executive director on Emaar-MGF from September 2009 to December 2009. The CBI probe into the Rs 5,000-cr Emaar-MGF scam in Hyderabad which again took place in the YSR rule has seen several Jagan associates in the investigating body's net. Investigations into the Emaar-MGF scam reveal links to some "suitcase-companies" in Mauritius which invested in Jagan's firms. Haschke and Gerosa ran Aeromatrix Info Solutions in Delhi. The main shareholder in Aeromatrix is Mauritius-based Infotech Design Systems Ltd.

Refuting the allegations against Brother Anil Kumar as "wild", YSR Congress spokesperson Jupudi Prabhakar says that deals like AgustaWestland are struck at very high levels. "To even assume that such a scam, if there is one, has links to a Khammam charity, is ridiculous," he says.

The TDP, however, says it is not going to let this pass and would be raising the issue in Parliament. It demands a probe by an HC judge into Arbor's activities as well as that of Brother Anil Kumar's apart from a CBI investigation.

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