AP minister ready to face probe into kickback allegations

M Venkataramana
Hyderabad, Feb 8: Dismissing allegations of receiving kick backs from liquor syndicates, Andhra Pradesh Excise Minister M Venkataramana today said he is ready to face any probe to prove his innocence.

"I requested the chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy to order a through probe into these allegations. I am ready to quit my post within seconds if I am proved guilty. I have nothing to do with the person who made allegations that he paid kick backs to me," he told reporters here.

The minister's name reportedly figured in a report prepared by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the State Government following the allegation made by a liquor businessman that he paid money to the minister. The ACB report also reportedly mentioned the names of political leaders from other parties as well.

The minister said the ACB should have taken his version before mentionining his name in the report. He maintained that he has become an "eyesore" to liquor businessmen and some officials for making efforts to stop violations like selling liquor above the Maximum Retail Price (MRP).

The ACB has been conducting raids on 'liquor syndicates' since December last for violations of rules and the bureau has announced a nexus among liquor businessmen, government officials, and politicians.


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