Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Minister, Botsa Satyanarayana attended the CBI court in Hyderabad for the Volkswagen case on Tuesday. The Municipal Administration Minister appeared before the court as a witness in the multi-crore scam which was unearthed in 2005.
Botsa Satyanarayana was the Minister for Industries during YS Rajasekhar Reddy's government in 2004 when Volkswagen, the German car industry tried to establish its factory in Visakhapatnam. The government paid Rs 11.67 crore to Vasistha Wahan which acted as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for Volkswagen in Andhra Pradesh.
Adding a twist to the incident, Volkswagen sacked its head of Indian operations, who acted as the CEO of Vasishta Wahan, Helmuth Schuster on corruption charges. The issue hit the headlines and the opposition cornered the ruling party. The government was forced to order a CBI probe in 2005.
In 2010 the CBI filed a 3000 pages charge sheet in the case. It named six persons including Schuster as an accused in the scam. The remaining are businessman Jagdish Alaga Raja and his sister Gayatri Chandravadanan, Bhuwan Kumar Chaturvedi, Ashok Kumar Jain, and Joseph V George. The top investigative agency charged the six persons with cheating and criminal conspiracy.
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The CBI probing Volkswagen case conducted an inquiry on 59 persons and concluded that Rs 12 crore of the public's money was looted in the scam. It recovered Rs 7 crore and the probe is ongoing to get the remaining Rs 5 crore back. On 23rd August, the CBI court summoned Botsa Satyanarayana to attend as a witness to record his statement.
In a lighter vein, the words of Botsa Satyanarayana regarding the payment of Rs 11.67 crore have become very famous. In his typical north coastal slang, he said "dabbulu ponayi. Eti setham" (Money was lost. What can we do?) This became a catchy phrase for many years in political circles. Botsa Satyanarayana is one of the key ministersin YS Jagan's cabinet.