Last Updated: December 26, 2022, 21:22 IST
The Telangana High Court on Monday transferred the poaching case – lodged by four MLAs of the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) – to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a big setback to the K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR)-led government. The HC also quashed the seven-member SIT formed by the Telangana government earlier this month to probe the alleged attempt of poaching ruling party MLAs.
Reacting to the development, BRS social media convenor Krishank tweeted that the HC order comes as a relief to the “hiding mouse”, without giving further details.
After BJP’s 7 Attempts to handover MLA Poaching Case to CBI, finally its a relief to the hiding mouse 🐁 who is now relieved from the SIT enquiry— krishanKTRS (@krishanKTRS) December 26, 2022
Welcoming the HC order, BJP leader and advocate Ram Chander Rao, who appeared on the behalf of the BJP, said that the SIT did no proper investigation and also failed to consider the technical issues in the case.
“We informed the court that we have been politically harassed. (The SIT) mentioned the BJP’s name even though the party was not involved. The case has been filed with a political motive. The chief minister organised a press meeting and made allegations. The SIT didn’t have the authority to investigate. Only the Anti-Corruption Bureau has the authority to investigate the case,” Rao told reporters.
The SIT was led by Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand. The high court has ordered the SIT to hand over evidence and statements related to the case to the CBI.
BRS MLA Rohith Reddy, one of the four complainants in the poaching case, alleged that three individuals – Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Nandu Kumar and Simhayaji Swamy – offered him Rs 100 crore and in return, the legislator has to leave the BRS, formerly knows as Telangana Rashtra Samiti, and contest as a BJP candidate in the next Assembly elections, likely slated for late 2023.
Reddy, a legislator from Tandur, and three other BRS MLAs had lodged an FIR regarding the matter on October 26. Following this, the accused trio was arrested and later granted bail by the Telangana High Court.
As per the FIR lodged, the accused asked Reddy to bring some more BRS MLAs by offering Rs 50 crore each to join the BJP.
Reddy was later served a notice by the Enforcement Directorate, following which the BRS legislator appeared twice before the agency. Last Monday, he said the ED officials asked him about his details and bio-data but did not tell him why they issued the summons.
Chief Minister KCR had also alleged that the BJP’s main motto was to dethrone the non-BJP-ruled state governments in the country. In November, during a press conference, KCR released videos spanning three hours containing “evidence” where middlemen were sent by the BJP in a bid to lure four ruling MLAs with Rs 100 crore, civil contracts and plum posts to make them switch sides to the BJP.
The BJP, however, denied all the poaching allegations and even called KCR an “actor” in the “political field” after he released the video of the party allegedly trying to poach BRS MLAs.
(With inputs from PV Ramana Kumar and PTI)
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