Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, or KCR as he is known, called an unexpected news conference on Thursday and screened a series of videos that he said backed his party’s MLA poaching charges against the BJP.
Presenting the four MLAs of his Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party, who had supposedly thwarted an attempt to buy them out, KCR claimed he had more than an hour of hidden camera footage that implicated the BJP. He played five minutes of the tapes at the news conference.
The reference was to last week’s incident that took place at a farmhouse in Telangana, that set off a political storm in the state ahead of a key by-poll that was held on Thursday in a test for his party as it gears up to go national.
KCR said the videos were evidence that the busted meeting at the farmhouse was a poaching operation because the brokers mentioned Union Home Minister Amit Shah “20 times”, PM Modi “thrice” and referenced the change in government in Karnataka.
Despite the Chief Minister’s accusations, and charges brought against three men arrested in the case, allegations of the BJP or any leader from the party being involved are not yet proven.
Requesting the judiciary to “save the country”, KCR said he would be sending the videos to top judges of the Supreme Court, High Courts and opposition leaders. He alleged the BJP was trying to topple governments in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.
The BJP has denied allegations of poaching, declaring that it was a drama “scripted, directed and produced” by the Chief Minister. The BJP has also approached the court and the Election Commission.
“Some Delhi brokers came to challenge Telangana’s self-respect… They offered ₹ 100 crore to four MLAs,” Mr Rao said at a rally two days ago, parading the four who had called in the police at the farmhouse, alleging an “Operation Lotus”.
Three people — one of them a businessman – were arrested. Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Nanda Kumar, and Simhayaji Swamyat have been sent to jail for 14 days.
On Wednesday, Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLA Pilot Rohith Reddy had filed a complaint with the police, alleging that Ramachandra Bharati and Nanda Kumar, both belonging to the BJP, had met him and offered him ₹ 100 crore to join the BJP.
The complaint mentioned that they also threatened that if they failed to comply, criminal cases will be filed against them through Central agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation.