Was it a Raid? Or was it a Search? Or was it just a routine inspection?
At the end of the five-day operation by the Income Tax department at the premises of Megha Engineering Infrastructure Limited and residence of its promoter Krishna Reddy, no one is any the wiser. When the operation began, MEIL issued a press note that said : “The income tax department is inspecting our office today. It is a routine inspection. It may come to your notice as well. I would like to clarify that it is not a raid or search and just a routine operation.”
But a “routine operation” that goes on for five days is bound to raise eyebrows. And when the I-T sleuths make it a point not to involve the local police in Hyderabad in providing security, there seems to be more than what meets the eye.
MEIL has emerged as one of the most high-profile companies in the two Telugu states, having bagged big ticket irrigation projects. It is constructing the one lakh crore worth Kaleshwaram project, one of the world’s largest lift irrigation projects and is also involved in Mission Bhageeratha that provides water to every household at a cost of Rs 40000 crore. It also bagged the Rs 1200 crore Pattiseema project in 2015 in Andhra Pradesh. The project that sought to transfer flood water from Godavari through a channel to the Krishna river and then supply it to drought-prone districts of Rayalaseema, was slammed by the CAG as a “colossal waste of public money”.
More recently, after the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government cancelled the Polavaram project contract given to Navayuga and after tenders were again floated, MEIL emerged as the sole bidder.
Apart from his proximity to the political leadership in Telangana, Krishna Reddy has managed to bag projects across regimes in Andhra Pradesh. From YSR a decade ago in united Andhra Pradesh to Chandrababu Naidu and now Jagan.
Krishna Reddy is also in the midst of a media story too as he along with Jupally Rameshwar Rao of My Home Group, now control TV9 media group. Supporters of Ravi Prakash, the former CEO of TV9 who is now in judicial custody, have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging illegality in various projects executed by MEIL.