New Delhi: Three persons who allegedly tried to “poach” four Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) – now renamed Bharat Rashtra Samithi – legislators have been re-arrested by the Cyberabad police and sent to 14 days’ judicial custody on October 29, late Saturday, the New Indian Express reported.The arrests were made after the Telangana high court had set aside an anti-corruption bureau court’s order that had dismissed the case citing lack of evidence.
The government had appealed to the high court against the lower court’s order.Following TRS’s allegations that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tried to poach some of its MLAs, the saffron party filed a writ petition in the high court seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation probe.Another judge of the high court, on the BJP’s petition, posted the matter for November 4 and deferred investigation till then.
The TRS MLAs who were allegedly offered money to join the BJP are Guvvala Balaraju (Atchampet assembly segment), B. Harshavardhan Reddy (Kollapur), Rega Kantarao (Pinapaka) and Pilot Rohith Reddy (Tandur).
Separately, a day before the arrest, a purported audio clip of a telephonic conversation between the main accused, Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma alias Swamiji, and one of the TRS MLAs, Pilot Rohith Reddy, had surfaced.
The purported audio clip indicated that the move to lure the TRS MLAs to join the BJP had the clearance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, referred in the clip as “Number One” and “Number Two”, respectively.
In the audio clip, the main accused is heard saying once Reddy ropes in an adequate number of TRS MLAs, Santosh (reportedly B.L. Santosh, BJP national secretary) would come down to Hyderabad to finalise the “deal”.
The Wire has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of the audio clip.On the night of October 26, cases under relevant sections of criminal conspiracy, offering bribe and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 were filed against the trio – Satish Sharma, Nanda Kumar and Simhayaji Swamy – based on a complaint by Reddy.
As per the first information report, Reddy alleged that the accused offered him Rs 100 crore and in return the legislator had to leave the TRS and contest as a BJP candidate in the next assembly elections.The incident led to a war of words between the BJP and TRS with allegations and counter allegations.