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MLA poaching case: SIT summons BJP national general secretary

BL Santosh was told to appear before the Special Investigation Team at 10:30 am on 21 November with his two phones to ascertain the circumstances leading to the allegation.

Statesman News Service | Hyderabad |

The Special Investigation Team formed to probe the MLA poaching case in Telangana has directed BL Santosh, the BJP’s national general secretary (Organisation), to appear before it at 10:30 am on 21 November at the newly-constructed Command and Control Centre on Banjara Hills.

The SIT summoned Santosh to ascertain the facts and circumstances leading to the poaching allegation. In a notice dated 16 November, he was told to appear before the SIT with his two mobile phones whose number and IMEI number were specifically mentioned in the team.

According to the contents of the leaked audio tapes, Ramchandra Bharti, one of the three accused in the MLA poaching case, had repeatedly mentioned Santosh during his conversation with the TRS MLA Pilot Rohit Reddy while he was trying to convince him to switch parties with a promise of Rs 100 crore as reward.

The SIT, led by Hyderabad Commissioner of police CV Anand, was formed by the state government but the high court instructed the team to not report to anyone in the executive, but to the single bench judge. The progress report of investigations was to be submitted to the court on 29 November in a sealed envelope and the SIT has been barred from leaking any information to the press.

Tushar Velapally, a BJP ally who was also mentioned by the accused, has also received notice from the SIT. Incidentally, the Telangana BJP once again moved the Telangana High Court for a stay on “the arbitrary and illegal notices issued by SIT” prompting TRS leaders to raise questions as to why the BJP does not want an inquiry in the MLA poaching case.