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Secret behind BJP MP CM Ramesh donating Rs 30crs to Congress

Saturday, March 23, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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An infrastructure company based in Andhra Pradesh, Rithwik Projects Private Limited, founded by Chintakunta Munuswamy Ramesh, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha member, made headlines for purchasing electoral bonds worth Rs 45 crore over three months. This happened around the same time the company secured a major project in Himachal Pradesh.

The company was awarded a contract for the Sunni hydroelectric power project in Himachal Pradesh, which is under Congress rule, on January 14, 2023. The first purchase of electoral bonds, worth Rs 5 crore, was made on January 27, 2023. Electoral bonds must be encashed by political parties within 15 days, and during this period, the BJP, Telugu Desam Party, and Trinamool Congress were the only parties to encash more than Rs 5 crore in bonds.

SVJN Limited, a clean energy public sector undertaking, signed a contract agreement with Rithwik Projects on March 22, 2023, worth Rs 1,098 crore for the Sunni project. Three weeks later, on April 11, 2023, Rithwik Projects purchased bonds worth Rs 40 crore.

In April 2023, when Rithwik Projects bought bonds worth Rs 40 crore, the Congress and BJP encashed more than Rs 40 crore each, while the Telugu Desam Party (Ramesh's former party) encashed Rs 30 crore in bonds. The recipient party of Rithwik Projects' donations will be known when the State Bank of India releases alphanumeric codes to match donors with recipients.

Chintakunta Munuswamy Ramesh's story is marked by some interesting turns. In 2019, he switched from the Telugu Desam Party to the BJP, just months after being accused by the Income Tax Department of siphoning off funds amounting to Rs 74 crore in 2018. This move surprised many, as he was known to be close to Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu.

Ramesh claims to have had no involvement in Rithwik Projects' affairs since 2012. However, his brother remains the executive director, and his son, Rithwik, leads operations.The BJP had accused Ramesh of fraudulent transactions and dubbed him one of the "Andhra Mallyas" in reference to fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya. The Income Tax Department raided Ramesh's properties in Hyderabad and Kadapa in 2018.

Ramesh's tenure in the Rajya Sabha is set to end soon, and the income tax case against him is pending. He has expressed his intention to contest the Lok Sabha election from Visakhapatnam. He was also mentioned in a report by the Association of Democratic Reforms for having one of the highest declared wealth among MPs in Andhra Pradesh, with assets worth Rs 258 crore.

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