Hyderabad: The All India Congress Committee (AICC) Telangana in-charge, B. Manickam Tagore, has sent a legal notice to former Congress leader Padi Kaushik Reddy for allegedly making defamatory statements against him.

On Monday, Mr. Kaushik Reddy had alleged that Mr. Tagore took Rs. 50 crore from Revanth Reddy to appoint him the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president.

In the legal notice, Mr. Tagore asked Mr. Kaushik Reddy to tender an unconditional apology in writing within seven days, failing which appropriate legal action will be taken against him for defamation, including paying Rs. 1 crore for his defamatory statement.

R. Aravindan, Mr. Tagore's lawyer, in the legal notice said the allegations were baseless and made "with ulterior motives for certain political gains". He further added that the public statement issued by Mr. Kaushik Reddy has caused extensive damage to the reputation of Mr. Tagore and his family. The false, frivolous, fictitious, and baseless allegations have shattered Mr. Tagore's credibility that he had built during the past several years of his political career, the lawyer said.

On 12 July, the TPCC had expelled Mr. Kaushik Reddy, the secretary of Telangana Congress (TPCC) and Huzurabad in-charge, hours after he had resigned from the party. This came after the Congress disciplinary committee had issued show-cause notices after an audio clip of Mr. Kaushik Reddy had been leaked.

In a letter addressed to the All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Reddy cited the current political situation as the reason for his resignation. "Thanks to Rahul Gandhi and Uttam Kumar Reddy for believing in me and encouraging me and giving me a ticket to the Huzurabad Assembly seat in the last elections. However, in light of the current political situation in the state, I decided to leave the party. I decided to participate in the development of Telangana," he said in his resignation letter.

It is being speculated that Mr. Kaushik Reddy will officially join the TRS and contest from Huzurabad in the by-election. He is the 32nd MLA candidate to leave the Congress in Telangana since 2018. He had contested on a Congress ticket from Huzurabad in the 2018 legislative Assembly election.

On Sunday, Mr. Kaushik Reddy's audio clip claiming that the TRS ticket for the Huzurabad by-election has been confirmed went viral. In the audio clip, he can be heard asking a TRS activist to give him a list of youth in the village. "Pay them Rs. 2,000, Rs. 3,000, or Rs. 5,000 and bring them into the party. I will take care of you," he can be heard saying. However, the genuineness of the audio could not be confirmed as yet.

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