The properties linked to a Telangana Rashtra Samithi minister are being searched by the Enforcement Directorate in an illegal mining and money laundering case, sources have said.
The minister, Gangula Kamalakar, is in Dubai with his family, sources said.
Mr Kamalakar is the Minister for Backward Classes Welfare, Food and Civil Supplies, and is an MLA from Karimnagar constituency.
Mr Kamalakar has granite firms in Karimnagar. A case was filed against him in 2012 alleging the exchequer lost some Rs 750 crore due to his “illegal” operations. BJP leaders had complained against him again in November last year.
The Enforcement Directorate, or ED, action against the minister is likely to escalate the fight between the BJP and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, or TRS, government led by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, also known as KCR, who, like other Chief Ministers in non-BJP states, has alleged the Narendra Modi government of misusing central agencies to harass them.
The ED raids also come less than a week after KCR’s party, now renamed as Bharat Rashtra Samithi for a wider national appeal, won a by-election in Munugode. The BJP candidate, Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy, whose family owns a large mining firm, lost the election.
KCR’s party and the BJP are also at war over allegations that the ruling party in the centre tried to bribe four TRS MLAs to switch sides.
The BJP has denied the allegation and called for a probe by an “independent agency” like the Central Bureau of Investigation or a court-monitored special investigation team.
The Telangana High Court, after hearing the BJP’s request, allowed the state police to look into the allegations by KCR’s party.