Two months after a farm house in Telangana’s Moinabad was raided and the Cyberabad police claimed to have unearthed a conspiracy to topple the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi government by ‘buying’ four MLAs for Rs 100 crore each, the complainant in the case, Tandur MLA Rohith Reddy says there is an attempt to threaten and intimidate him using central agencies, even though it is a state-appointed Special Investigation Team that is probing the ‘poachgate’ case. Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has alleged that the BJP was trying to bring down his government, and his party MLA Mr Reddy, one of those allegedly offered money to switch sides, is going to the court today asking why the Enforcement Directorate is getting involved with a case that it is not investigating.
The BJP has alleged that the ‘poachgate’ case was stage-managed by the Telangana Chief Minister, and denied any connection with the three accused in the case.
Speaking to NDTV, Rohith Reddy alleged that the ED is trying to ‘fix’ him because he exposed their ‘conspiracy’ to topple the state government. There was no exchange of money at his farmhouse, he has claimed.
Mr Reddy was called for questioning on December 19 and 20 by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with another case related to money laundering. He has, however, alleged that the ED overstepped and collected his personal details without telling him what case he was called in for.
“There was no money laundering which happened, no proceeds were recovered. We don’t know how ED came into this case. During the enquiry, they never revealed the case to me. There was no case or crime related information, no particulars in the summons given to me,” he said.
On the first day of the ED questioning, they collected all his personal information, and there was no questioning about any case, Mr Reddy said.
“During the six hours I was being questioned for, I constantly asked them under which case they were conducting the enquiry. It is my fundamental right to know, in which case you have called me for an enquiry,” he said.
On day two, after an hour of questioning, the ED told him they had called him regarding the MLA ‘poachgate’ case, he said.
On the BJP’s claim that the three accused are not linked to them, Mr Reddy questioned why then is the party’s General Secretary filing cases on their behalf.
“It clearly shows the connection between the accused and the BJP. They are trying to cover up what mischief they were trying to do…I am asking the BJP, if they don’t have anything to do with this matter, why are you hesitant to come for the enquiry, why are you not coming forward after the SIT has served notices,” Rohith Reddy said.
On the motive behind this alleged poaching, he claimed BJP ruled states are not able to prosper the way Telangana is prospering, and they feel Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) turning into BRS is “definitely a threat” for them.
“They want the BRS party to stand back and do things which will make us fearful. We are in a very comfortable position in terms of seats,” he added.
One of the accused in the case, Hyderabad-based businessman Nanda Kumar, has been called in for questioning by the ED. Mr Reddy claims they want to ‘fix’ him by manipulating his statements.
“Several BJP leaders in Telangana have been making statements every day. One of the leaders openly said Rohith Reddy will be arrested soon. The people of Telangana should know that the BJP is doing one such cruel act again,” he added.
Earlier in October, following a complaint from Rohith Reddy, an FIR was registered at the Moinabad Police Station.
The three accused have been identified as Ramachandra Bharati, Nanda Kumar, and Simhayaji Swamy.
In the FIR, Mr Reddy alleged that Ramachandra Bharati who came to Hyderabad from Delhi, and Nanda Kumar of Hyderabad, both belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party, had met him and offered him Rs 100 crore to join the BJP.
According to the FIR, MLA Rohith Reddy also alleged that they were threatened that criminal cases will be filed against him and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will raid them if they did not join the BJP.