Business Educational Legal Legislature Nation Telangana

MLAs poaching case: Point of no escape for BJP

Hyderabad: A point of no escape appears to have arrived for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Poachgate scandal, with irrefutable evidence now establishing the links between the three accused in the case and top functionaries of the BJP, the RSS and also with the offices of the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister.

Information gathered by multiple media houses carrying out parallel independent investigations into the covert operation busted in Telangana indicates how the accused, and those who are now linked to them, are caught in a deep web held together by messages and call data records available on multiple servers and other crucial evidences spanning at least seven years.

The evidence, in multiple ways, establishes links between the three accused – Ramchandra Bharathi, Simhayaji and Nanda Kumar – with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national general secretary BL Santosh, RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale, NDA Kerala convener Thushar Vellappally, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy, BJP State president Bandi Sanjay and Kerala-based doctor Jaggu Swamy.

The three were arrested on October 26 by the Cyberabad Police, who carried out a sting operation on the trio who were trying to lure four TRS legislators into the BJP fold by promising to pay hefty sums that ranged from Rs 50 crore to Rs 100 crore each.

The role of the three and the top BJP/RSS functionaries in the conspiracy to topple the Telangana government is established by evidence gleaned from over 5 TB of data of call records, text messages and chat conversations between them right from 2015.

The call and message data show the pattern in which the operation was carried out, before being busted, with data showing Ramachandra Bharathi from Hyderabad contacting Jaggu Swamy in Kochi, who in turn contacts Thushar Vellappally in Ahmedabad.

Thushar then rings up BL Santosh, who is also in Gujarat at that time, following which calls/ messages are then made to Amit Shah;s office. The data is now stored in 40-50 servers spread across several States and with deleting such a large amount of data not possible, the BJP now finds itself in a web from which there is no escape.

The data retrieved from Ramachandra Bharathi’s phone and laptop have messages to Jaggu Swamy and the top functionaries mentions ‘Vitamin M’, denoting money, and the amount to be handed over to each MLAs poached from rival parties in different States over the last few years.

The CCTV camera recordings and several photographs that are in the public domain also establish the claims by the accused, of their close proximity with the powers that be.

In the conversations with the TRS MLAs, Bharathi mentions the name of Amit Shah 22 times, reiterating the latter’s involvement. The manner in which they throw assurances, as if they were extra-constitutional bodies acting on behalf of the Central government, is seen from how they promise Y Category security for the TRS MLAs on the lines of what was arranged for YSRCP rebel MP K Raghu Rama Krishna Raju in Andhra Pradesh.

The accused also mention the name of senior IAS officer Saket Kumar, who works in the office of the Union Home Minister.

Suspicions are also being raised over the role of an advocate Pogulakonda Pratap from Amberpet, said to be a close associate of Union Minister G Kishan Reddy and who is mentioned in the conversations between the accused and the MLAs.