Senior BJP leader BL Santhosh won’t be questioned for now in the case of alleged conspiracy to “buy” four MLAs from Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s TRS as the Telangana High Court today granted a stay till December 5 on notices issued to him by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that’s probing the allegations.
BL Santhosh had approached the court after the SIT had issued a second notice to BJP National General Secretary (Organisation) Mr Santhosh following directions from the Telangana High Court. He is yet to appear before the investigation team.
Mr Santhosh may have cited Gujarat election related work, which he has been busy with. It was one of the reasons he cited for him not being available in Delhi when the notice was to be issued to him. The first notice was to be issued to him through the Delhi Police.
On November 21, he said he did not receive the first notice, which was dated November 16. The court then said that it could be sent to him via e-mail and WhatsApp. Subsequently, he was asked to appear before the SIT for questioning on November 26 or November 28.
The SIT had on Thursday filed a memo in a special Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court in Hyderabad, adding the names of Mr Santhosh and two persons from Kerala — Jaggu Swami and Tushar Vellapally — besides B Srinivas, as accused in the case.
Three people — Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Nanda Kumar and Simhayaji Swamy — were already named as accused in the case and arrested last month, they have since got bail, for allegedly making “an offer of Rs 100 crore” to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) legislators at a farmhouse. A complaint was lodged by TRS MLA Pilot Rohith Reddy, among four legislators, against them on October 26.
Rohith 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 election.
The Cyberabad police had registered a case based on audio and videotapes that were leaked first and then also shared by the Chief Minister Rao.
The Telangana government on November 9 ordered the setting up of a seven-member SIT to probe into the alleged poaching of the MLAs.
The poaching allegations come amid heightened political rivalry as Chief Minister Rao, or ‘KCR’, recently renamed the TRS to Bharat Rashtra Samithi to aim for a national role against PM Modi and the BJP in 2024.