Hyderabad/Chennai, May 15 (DHNS): The Income-Tax department has confiscated a mindboggling sum of Rs 35 crore in cash stashed in 35 cartons from the residence of actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi’s son-in-law in Chennai in a three-day raid that began on Friday.
A release by the I-T department said the extraordinary amount of cash, apart from property documents valued at Rs 4.60 crore and gold jewellery, were seized from the Poes Garden residence of Vishnu Prasad, married to Chiranjeevi’s elder daughter Sushmita, in a raid that concluded on Sunday. The residence of Prasad’s father and six other relatives were also raided.
The cartons containing the cash were recovered from the store house of Prasad’s residence and have been sent to a nationalised bank for verification. According to the release, each carton contained Rs 1 crore in bills of 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee denominations.
Sources said Prasad, who was abroad at the time of the raids, would be questioned by the I-T investigators when would return to Chennai on Monday night.
In a press conference here, Chiranjeevi said: “As I understand, the I-T raids on my son-in-law’s house in Chennai were a part of the raids conducted on the house of his uncle Nandagopal, who happens to be a big business man. They were all routine raids and if there are any illegal transactions or unaccounted mines, I am sure the I-T officials will soon disclose them. In what way am I concerned with this?”
Countering some media reports, Chiranjeevi claimed that his daughter was “very much in Hyderabad” at the time of the raids.
Refuting speculation that the seized booty belonged to him and was meant to be spent in the ensuing election in Andhra Pradesh, Chiranjeevi threatened to slap a defamation suit against Sakshi TV for “spreading rumours” that he received the money from Pranab Mukherjee after a meeting in New Delhi.
According to sources, Chiranjeevi is headed for more trouble from his sons-in-law as rumours of his estranged younger son-in-law Sirish Bharadwaj possibly joining Jaganmohan Reddy’s camp, are doing the rounds.
The speculation gained momentum from Bharadwaj’s recent meeting with Y V Subba Reddy of the YSR Congress. Bharadwaj and Chiranjeevi’s younger daughter Sreeja have been living separately ever since she filed a complaint against him on grounds of dowry harassment. Bharadwaj said, “I came to seek Subba Reddy's blessings for my birthday and there’s nothing political about it.”