BJP Leader BL Santosh Summoned By Telangana Police Over TRS MLAs' Poaching Case

A team, led by Nalgonda Superintendent of Police Rema Rajeshwari, a member of SIT, served the notices after its investigation in Kerala over the last five days.

BJP Leader BL Santosh Summoned By Telangana Police Over TRS MLAs' Poaching Case
BJP National President JP Nadda speaks to BL Santosh during the State Executive Committee meeting in Kolkata. (ANI Image)

In a major development in TRS MLAs' poaching case, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana Police has summoned BJP General Secretary B.L. Santosh. The SIT has served notice to the BJP leader under Section 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code asking him to appear before it on November 21. Santosh has been directed to come to the Police Command and Control Centre in Hyderabad at 10.30 a.m.

The SIT has stated in the notice that if he fails to appear before it, he will be arrested. Santosh's name figured in the conversation between three alleged BJP agents arrested by the police last month while trying to lure four MLAs of the TRS to the BJP's fold with an offer of huge money.

The SIT has already served notices to Kerala doctor Jaggu Swami, BDJS President Tushar Vellapally and a lawyer and relative of Telangana BJP President Bandi Sanjay Kumar for questioning.

All four have been summoned on the same day. They have been asked to appear before SIT for questioning for their alleged links with the three accused arrested in the case last month, sources said. Jaggu Kottilil alias Jaggu Swami is working in Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi while Tushar Vellapally is the President of Kerala's Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS).

A team, led by Nalgonda Superintendent of Police Rema Rajeshwari, a member of SIT, served the notices after its investigation in Kerala over the last five days. The team served notice at Vellapally's house in Alappuzha. Vellapally, whose BDJS is an ally of the BJP in Kerala, was not home.

The name of Vellapally, who had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Wayanad against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, figured in the conversation the three accused had with the TRS MLAs.The notice was pasted at the office and house of Jaggu Swami, who is reported to be absconding.

The police team was in Kerala to question him as Ramachandra Bharati, the main accused reportedly confessed that Jaggu Swami was linked to the cash that was promised to the TRS MLAs as inducement.SIT has also served a notice to Bhusarapu Srinivas, a lawyer from Karimnagar, who is said to be a distant relative of the Telangana BJP chief. Srinivas had allegedly funded the flight expenses for Simhayaji, one of the three accused.

Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Simhayaji and Nandakumar were arrested by the Cyberabad police from a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad on the night of October 26 when they were allegedly trying to lure four MLAs of the TRS with offers of huge money. Cyberabad police conducted the raid on a tip-off by Pilot Rohit Reddy, one of the MLAs.

He alleged that the accused offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs 50 crore each to three others. The accused were booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act. The Telangana High Court on Tuesday rejected the BJP plea to hand over MLAs' poaching case to the CBI but made the SIT probing the case-independent.

The court also ruled that a single judge will monitor the investigation into the case. It asked the SIT to submit a report to the court on November 29 on the progress of the investigation.

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