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Telangana BJP moves HC, seeks transfer of TRS MLAs poaching case to CBI

TRS leaders and cadres took to the streets and burnt effigies of the BJP leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protest against the party’s attempt to topple the government by luring its four MLAs.

Statesman News Service | Hyderabad |

Telangana BJP moves HC: The Telangana unit of BJP on Thursday approached the High Court, seeking to transfer the case of poaching of TRS MLAs to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from the state police and direct the central investigative agency to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to carry out a fair probe into the matter.

The BJP leaders have denied the allegations that the TRS MLAs were being lured to join the saffron party and topple the government in Telangana, dismissing the entire episode as fabricated and scripted by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Telangana BJP moves HC

Yesterday night, the police raided a farmhouse at Aziznagar in Moinabad after receiving a tip off from the TRS that three people were offering bribes to four TRS MLAs to quit the party and join the BJP. Four TRS MLAs are Pilot Rohit Reddy, Rega Kantha Rao, Guvvula Balaraju and Beeram Harshvardhan. The police had arrested three persons in connection with this case.

The Cyberabad CP Stephen Raveendra had said: “The MLAs were offered cash, contracts, and posts in return. The searches were carried out based on information given by the TRS MLAs.” The farmhouse belongs to TRS MLA Pilot Rohit Reddy.

According to the FIR filed by Tandur MLA Pilot Rohit Reddy two persons – Ramachandra Bharti who is from Delhi and Nanda Kumar, resident of Hyderabad, both belonging to the BJP, met him and proposed that he should resign from TRS and join BJP and contest the next elections as candidate of the Saffron party.

They offered him Rs 100 crore, civil contracts from the central government and high posts in the central government. “They also stated that if he does not join BJP there will be criminal cases and raids by ED/CBI,” read the FIR.

On 26 October, they again contacted him and asked him to contact some more MLAs and offered them Rs 50 crore each to join the party.

The police arrested Ramachandra Bharati alia Satish Sharma from Delhi, Nanda Kumar from Hyderabad and Simhayaji Swamy from Tirupati and recovered a huge amount of unaccounted cash. Incidentally, among four MLAs except for Guvvula Balaraju all were elected on Congress tickets but switched to the TRS in 2019.

The BJP leaders have dismissed the allegations. Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said that it was an entirely “fabricated” incident and Pragathi Bhavan (the Chief Minister’s residence cum camp office) had provided the episode’s script, direction and performers

The TRS had alleged that one of the arrested persons, Nanda Kumar, was close to the union minister and posted photographs as evidence. Reddy denied it saying Nanda Kumar was seen in photographs with TRS leaders as well.

“The TRS is afraid that they will lose Munugode by elections and are creating all this drama,” said the Minister and wondered why the cash recovered was not shown publicly by police. BJP leaders also pointed out that the party approaches leaders of calibre through their joining committee.

The BJP has made both DGP and Cyberabad Commissioner of Police respondents in the petition filed before the court and complained that “bias and unfair investigation being carried upon with the sole intention to frame the leaders of the petitioner political party and damage its reputation at the instance of the ruling party. It pleaded to the court “to constitute a special investigation team to conduct enquiry in crime number 455/2022 registered on the file of Moinabad PS in a free and fair manner to safeguard the interest of justice…”

Meanwhile, the TRS leaders and cadres took to the streets and burnt effigies of the BJP leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protest against the party’s attempt to topple the government by luring its four MLAs.