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Top BJP leader BL Santhosh Summoned by Telangana Probe Team over “Trying to buy” TRS MLAs

Hyderabad: Top BJP leader BL Santhosh has been summoned by the Telangana police over his party’s alleged attempts to “buy” four MLAs from Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s TRS. National General Secretary (Organisation) of the BJP, BL Santhosh has to appear on November 21 or he will be arrested, according to the notices.

This comes days after the High Court ruled that the police could continue investigation but also ordered that a judge will monitor it.

Three men were arrested last month — they have since got bail — for allegedly making “an offer of ₹ 100 crore” to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) legislators at a farmhouse.

The 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.

KCR had called a press conference where he showed videos that he claimed backed up his party’s poaching charges against the BJP. He had also linked PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah with the “poaching attempt”. Parading the four MLAs who had supposedly recorded the “attempts attempt to buy them out”, KCR claimed to have three hours of hidden-camera footage, of which he played about five minutes.

The BJP has said the allegations are “staged” and the videos are “recordings with hired actors”. TRS MLA Pilot Rohith Reddy had said in his complaint that the three men said that cases would be filed against them through central agencies such as the CBI if they did not take the offer.

The High Court earlier this week rejected the BJP’s plea to hand over the case to a “neutral” agency like the CBI, but made the state police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) independent with a judge as overseer.