Telangana: Audio Clip Surfaces in ‘MLAs Poaching’ Case

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HYDERABAD — In another twist in ‘MLAs poaching’ case, an audio of telephonic conversation between the main accused and a TRS MLA surfaced on Friday.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leaked the audio of purported conversation between Ramachandra Bharati, alias Satish Sharma alias Swamiji, and Pilot Rohit Reddy, the MLA who tipped-off the Cyberabad police about the attempt to buy him and three other MLAs resulting in the arrest of three alleged agents of BJP.

The names of BJP general secretary B. L. Santhosh and ‘Number two’ figured in the telephonic conversation about the deal to buy the MLAs.

The conversation, which was also joined by second accused Nanda Kumar alias Nandu, took place before the accused met four TRS MLAs at a farmhouse near Hyderabad on Wednesday.

During the conversation, Swamiji is heard telling Rohit Reddy that once the abulk’ is ready, ASantosh can come to Hyderabad to finalise it. Swamiji also informed Rohit that Santosh had gone to Ahmedabad with ‘Number two’.

“Can you share the names with number two,” asked Swamiji when Rohit Reddy was reluctant to share the names of other MLAs ready to switch loyalties.

Swamiji also assured the MLA that the Centre will give complete protection from the Centre. “It is our responsibility to take care of you. When you are under our scanner, you don’t have to worry, including from ED to the income tax. We have good experience in Bengal,” the MLA was told.

Ramachandra Bharati of Delhi, Nanda Kumar of Hyderabad and Simhayaji Swamy were arrested by the police during a raid on a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad on Wednesday night.

The accused said to be close to some top BJP leaders were trying to lure four MLAs of the TRS with offers huge sums of money, important positions and contracts.

In his complaint to police, Rohit Reddy alleged that they offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs50 crore each to three other MLAs.

The incident triggered tremor in state politics ahead of the November 3 by-election to Munugode Assembly seat as the TRS claimed a conspiracy by BJP to topple its government had been foiled.

The saffron party, however, denied the allegations and claimed that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao orchestrated a drama to tarnish its image for electoral gain in Munugode.

The police produced the accused before a judge at his residence on Thursday night with a petition to remand them to judicial custody.

The judge, however, rejected the police petition for sending the accused to judicial custody, citing lack of evidence. He observed that the Prevention of Corruption Act does not apply to the case as there is no evidence of bribe money.

The judge told police to issue notices to the accused under Section 41 of Criminal Procedure Code for questioning.

On the judge’s orders, police released all the three accused. They were subsequently issued notices directing them to appear before police within 24 hours. The police also moved the Telangana High Court challenging the order of the lower court. — IANS

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