Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Setback to BRS, court releases accused in Telangana poaching case for lack of evidence

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In what could be termed a setback for Bharat Rashtra Samithi, an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court dismissed the pre-trial detention of the accused in the BRS MLA poaching case. Three people were arrested by police after raiding a farm on charges of trying to lure BRS lawmakers with cash, checks and contracts.

Abdul Basheer

Hyderabad,UPDATED: Oct 28, 2022 08:40 AM IST

Attempts have been made to poach 4 BRS MLAs. (Image: Twitter/ @ysathishreddy)

By Abdul Basheer: In a major blow to Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), formerly known as Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the three lawmakers allegedly involved in a poaching scheme to lure BRS lawmakers were released by police on orders from the Anti-Corruption Court Office (ABB). The judge dismissed the pre-trial detention of the three suspects involved in the bribery case, citing the lack of solid evidence and saying that the Prevention of Corruption Act does not apply in this case.

Cyberabad police have filed an FIR against three individuals for allegedly trying to persuade four BRS lawmakers to defect for the pivotal Munugode polls.

However, the BJP leadership in Telangana vehemently denied having any knowledge of their party’s alleged poaching of BRS MLAs. Earlier this month, TRS changed its name to Bharat Rashtra Samiti to mark the party’s foray into national politics.

Here are the main developments of the story:

  • Telangana police claimed they rejected a poaching attempt after one of the BRS lawmakers, Rohith Reddy, alleged that the accused offered him Rs 100 crore and in return was asked to leave the TRS and join as a BJP candidate to the next parliamentary elections. Based on a tip that three people were trying to lure BRS lawmakers with cash, checks and contracts, Cyberabad police conducted a check on a farm in Aziz Nagar on the evening of October 26.

  • Based on the information received, the police have arrested the accused, including a hotel owner from Delhi, for allegedly trying to poach the BRS MLAs. Police sources say attempts have been made to poach BRS MLA’s Pilot Rohit Reddy, Rega Kantharao, Guvvala Balaraju and Beeram Harshavardhan. Sources say three people including Ramachandra Bharathi from Delhi, Nandu (from Ambarpet) Deccan Pride hotel owner Somayajulu Swamy, and two others allegedly tried to bribe BRS lawmakers.

  • Based on a complaint from pilot Rohith Reddy, one of the lawmakers, cases under the relevant sections Criminal Conspiracy, Kickbacks and Prevention of Corruption Act-1988 were filed against the trio of Ramachandra Bharati Satish Sharma, Nanda Kumar and Simhayaji Swamy, according to the FIR copy, PTI news agency reported.

  • Shortly after the arrests were made, the ruling BRS party claimed that Union Minister G Kishan Reddy’s assistant was one of the accused who was caught extorting MLAs. Telangana minister G Kamalakar attacked the BJP on charges of trying to poach BRS-MLAs.

  • Union minister G Kishan Reddy refuted the “Operation Lotus” allegations, saying the entire event was made up. G Kishan Reddy said: “It’s all made up. I don’t have full information about what happened or what they said. If I know all the details, I will respond.”

  • An ACB court dismissed the pre-trial detention of three people arrested by Telangana police for allegedly trying to seize four MLAs from the ruling BRS party. The court said there was insufficient evidence in this case showing corruption or bribery and no cash was seized. The court also ordered the police to follow proper procedure and issue a notice under CrPC 41 to the accused and investigate the case, adding that the police had not followed proper procedure in the case.


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