Telangana horse trading: BJP leaders detained for 'buying' BRS MLAs
Three Bharatiya Janata Party leaders were detained in a midnight raid on the intervening night of October 26 and 27, when they were allegedly trying to execute a deal with Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in Telangana. Police have claimed that three persons were offering vast amounts of money to BRS members, formerly TRS, to change loyalty.
Why does this story matter?
- Bharatiya Janata Party which has an absolute majority in the Parliament has been repeatedly accused of poaching MLAs of opposition parties.
- In Maharashtra in a recent case, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) backed rebels of Shiv Sena and toppled the government in the state to form a government with BJP.
- BJP is attempting to grow in Telangana as it has only two MLAs there.
'Being lured and bribed'
Police chief Stephen Raveendra has told NDTV, "The targets were four MLAs of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, who tipped off the police." Quoting sources, reports suggest that the deal could have been to the tune of Rs. 100 crore or more. "They had offered Rs. 100 crores to the vital person, and additionally Rs. 50 crore for each MLA," NDTV quoted sources.
Accused used fake IDs to reach Hyderabad: Police
As per police, the detained persons used fake identity cards and identified themselves as Satiesh Sharma, alias Ram Chandra Bharati, a priest from Haryana's Faridabad, D Simhayaji, a seer from Tirupathi, and a businessman, Nanda Kumar. Besides Pilot Rohit Reddy, at whose farmhouse deal was attempted, three other MLAs present there were Beeram Harsh Vardhan Reddy, Rega Kantharao, and Guvvala Balraj.
'Attempt to topple government in Telangana'
Since 2019, there have been reports that the BJP is attempting to launch "Operation Lotus", referred to as poaching of MLAs by the BJP, in the BRS-ruled state. BJP is being accused of attempting to topple the government in Telangana by bribing its MLAs. Four MLAs who were at the farmhouse were taken to the Chief Minister's official residence immediately.
'Attempt to divert attention'
BJP leaders in the state accused the head of BRS and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao of plotting 'horse-trading drama' to divert attention from Munugode, set for by-polls on November 3. "It is a drama. KCR understood that the TRS is losing in Munugode. So they orchestrated this drama," BJP leader Vivek Venkataswamy said. BJP has two MLAs against 103 of BRS.