Ahead of her appearance before the Enforcement Directorate in the Delhi excise policy scam case, Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader K Kavitha on Thursday said she has done nothing wrong and alleged that targeting leaders using probe agencies has been the Bharatiya Janata Party's modus operandi at the time of elections.
Kavitha -- daughter of Telangana Chief Minister MK Chandrasekhar Rao -- has been summoned by the ED in connection with a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the excise policy.
She was summoned by the ED to depose before it on Thursday, but the agency agreed to her request to appear on March 11 as she has announced a hunger strike on March 10 in support for the women's reservation bill.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Kavitha attacked the BJP government at the Centre, alleging it of using the investigation agencies to target political parties and leaders who do not subscribe to its ideology.
Since last June, the central government has been constantly sending agencies such as the ED to Telangana, Kavitha Kalvakuntla (44), a Bharat Rashtra Samithi MLC, said.
It has conducted Income Tax raids on more than 500 businesses, National Investigation Agency raids on 500 to 600 people, ED raids in 200 places and CBI raids in 100 places, Kavitha alleged.
"This is not my issue alone. In our party, minimum 15-16 leaders, including MPs and MLAs, have been targeted in different cases," she said.
"The question is why? The Telangana assembly polls are due in November-December. The modus operandi of the BJP has been that before (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, ED reaches wherever elections are there," Kavitha said and added that "we have seen that the BJP has used backdoor entry in nine states, and they are unable to do it in Telangana, which is why they are using the ED now, but we are not afraid".
Asked why her father and brother KT Rama Rao are silent on the ED notice to her, she said, "Why should my father and brother speak about the ED issue. The entire party, 15-16 MLAs and small leaders have been targeted. That has been the attitude of the BJP unfortunately in every state. If we speak about it and make a big issue, the media will say we got scared."
There is a need to expose the "diversion tactics of the BJP" today by all political parties, she said and added "that is what we are trying to do".
Kavitha said she could have appeared before the ED on Thursday and cancelled her demonstration.
"I want to prove a point that your diversion tactics will not work," she said attacking the BJP.
The BJP first sets up a "narrative" and then looks for "characters" to target. This has been its agenda against political parties, leaders or businessmen who do not subscribe to its ideology, the BRS leader claimed.
Resultant, investigations are opened in cases in states where elections are due, she alleged and claimed that there is no ED probe in friendly states or against friendly leaders and businessmen. Heads of agencies and organisations such as the ED, the SEBI and the LIC are also given extensions to get the BJP's work done, Kavitha alleged.
"We will face the ED, we have not done anything wrong... I urge PM Modi to reduce prices, give more subsidies and jobs. What will you get by torturing people like us?" she asked.
Asserting that she would cooperate in the ED investigation, Kavitha said, "I did not commit any mistake but still (have to) appear before the ED...You also tell BL Santhosh to come to Telangana and face SIT (Special Investigation Team). Why is he scared?"
BJP national general secretary Santhosh is named by the Telangana Police as a suspect in a case of alleged attempt to poach four BRS MLAs and he is "filing case after case and taking stay after stay", she said.
On her request to the ED to defer the date of her appearance, Kavitha said she suggested to the agency to hold the "interrogation" at her house.
This option is provided to women in the law, she said and cited several court judgments. However, the ED rejected it, the BRS leader claimed.
Kavitha said an option to appear through video conferencing should be provided for women, an issue, she said, she will take up in the future.
On Congress' allegations that the BRS is the 'B' team of the BJP, she said, "That's been the habit of the Congress... We are not 'B' team, but 'A' team. In the future, we are going be an alternative for the BJP and work for the country."
She also claimed that the Congress is not a national party anymore. The party should come out of this misconception and work in the interest of the country and not in its interest, Kavitha said.
"If the Congress really wants to defeat the BJP in 2024 (Lok Sabha polls), it should give up its arrogance and come and be a team player and work with all regional parties to make sure the BJP loses in the next elections," she said.
She also alleged that the BJP in today's form and shape is hurting the country as the party is not working for development of the country.
"They are spoiling the ecosystem of this country and secular fabric. Certainly, we will work to unseat it from power and will work with all like-minded people," she added.
On the possibility of having an alternative front without the Congress, Kavitha said the Congress with 600 MLAs out of 4,000 should realise where it stands as a national party today.
It should align with strong regional parties, she suggested.
On hunger strike to be held on March 10 in the national capital, she said this is being done in support of the women's reservation Bill and urged President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Modi to ensure the passage of the bill before 2024.
All political parties, including the Congress, have been invited to take part in the demonstration.
About 18 political parties such as the CPI-M and the Shiv Sena have already confirmed their participation, she added.