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Mining Baron Shekar Reddy's Diary Hints at Pay Offs to Tamil Nadu Ministers, OPS: I-T Sources

In the documents accessed by CNN-News18, diary reportedly exposes corruption in top rungs of the Tamil Nadu Government and there are several purported references to politicians, indicating payoffs.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:December 8, 2017, 8:51 PM IST
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Mining Baron Shekar Reddy's Diary Hints at Pay Offs to Tamil Nadu Ministers, OPS: I-T Sources
File photo of O Panneerselvam. (Ravi Choudhary via Getty Images)
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Chennai: A diary seized from mining baron Shekar Reddy's residence during raids in 2016 which hints many state ministers were on his payroll.

In the documents accessed by CNN-News18, diary reportedly exposes corruption in top rungs of the Tamil Nadu Government and there are several purported references to politicians, indicating payoffs.

While no minister was directly named in the documents, an ‘OPS Ramesh’ was mentioned multiple times in the five-page document.

The personal secretary of Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, known as OPS, is a man called Ramesh.

There are back-to-back entries of Rs 3.7 lakh to OPS Ramesh, and includes an entry listed as 'garden expenses' to the tune of Rs 20 lakh paid to OPS Ramesh. It also includes an entry of Rs 1 crore given to ‘Advocate’. Incidentally, Panneerselvam’s son-in-law, Kasi, is an advocate.

There are also entries which hint that there were pay-outs to the VK Sasikala faction of the AIADMK as well. Rs 10 lakh was paid to a 'Mannargudi Mahadevan’. Mahadevan is Sasikala’s nephew who died recently while the family hails from Mannargudi. All the diary entries are between January and December 2016.

Reddy denied the allegations and told CNN-News18, "I don't have the habit of writing in a diary and the handwriting, signature doesn't belong to me. Where you get such papers, I don't know. That is not my diary and that's all I know."

When asked if he had links with Ministers, he said: "I know ministers. When I was a board member at Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam, I usually go with them for darshan. But I don't have any commercial dealings or any transactions. Why should I give money to them? I have an infrastructure business so why should I give money to them? I have met Panneerselvam only two times. I don't know Kasi. I've never met him."

However, Kasi admits he met Reddy. Speaking exclusively to CNN News 18, Kasi said, "He (Shekar Reddy) met me as a client but I haven’t had any longstanding relationship with him. I don’t know what the document says. I had no business dealings with him but I’ll verify the document and let you know as I am just returning from the court."

Panneerselvam evaded questions and just said: 'I don’t know."

In December 2016, I-T raids were conducted at the residence of Reddy and cash totalling to 96.89 crore in old currency notes was unearthed with 127 kg gold. In March 2017, Reddy was arrested on charges of money laundering by the CBI and later let out on bail.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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