MLAs poaching case: BJP moves HC for CBI probe

Hyderabad:- In another dramatic twist in the case relating to alleged attempt to poach four MLAs of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the BJP on Thursday moved the Telangana High Court seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

With the TRS alleging that the three men arrested while trying to lure its MLAs belonged to the BJP, the saffron party hit back by approaching the high court seeking direction to transfer the case to the central agency for a ‘fair’ probe.

In its petition, the BJP found fault with the manner in which police are conducting the probe and pleaded for interim orders to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for an impartial investigation.

The BJP has made the state government, Director General of Police, Cyberabad police commissioner, other police officials, union government and the CBI as respondents in the case.

The saffron party alleged that attempts are being made to tarnish its image by making false accusations of trying to buy TRS MLAs.

Cyberabad police on Wednesday arrested three persons from a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad when they were allegedly trying to lure four TRS MLAs to defect to BJP.

On a complaint by one of the MLAs Pilot Rohit Reddy, police registered a case against Ramachandra Bharati, alias Satish Sharma, of Delhi, Nanda Kumar of Hyderabad and Simhayaji Swamy of Tirupati.

The TRS leaders have alleged that the two godmen and businessman Nanda Kumar are close to union ministers and top BJP leaders.

Police have booked the accused for criminal conspiracy), bribery and criminal intimidation under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act.

According to the complainant, the accused offered him Rs 100 crore, central government civil contract works and other high central government positions for monetary benefits.

Rohit Reddy told police that the accused warned him that if he does not join the BJP, there will be criminal cases and raids by ED/CBI and the Telangana government led by TRS will be toppled by them. He said the accused offered Rs 50 crore each to the three other MLAs.

On a tip-off by Rohit Reddy, Cyberabad police reached the farmhouse and arrested the three accused.

The police seized mobile phones of the accused and were retrieving call data.

The trio were being questioned by the police at an undisclosed location. They will be produced in a court later in the day.

The arrests have created a political storm in the state with the TRS alleging conspiracy by BJP to destabilise the government.

The BJP, however, has denied the allegations and dared the TRS government to order a probe by CBI or a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.

Union minister G. Kishan Reddy has alleged that CM KCR scripted the poaching drama to malign BJP and demanded that the police reveal details like the amount of cash seized from three persons arrested in the case.

Dismissing the allegations that BJP tried to lure four TRS MLAs with huge sums of money, important positions and contracts, he said BJP would have gained nothing by making four MLAs defect to the party.

He wondered why the police were not revealing how much money was seized and where it came from.