Amid MLA Poaching Row, Telangana Announces Key CBI Privilege Revoked

Amid MLA Poaching Row, Telangana Announces Key CBI Privilege Revoked


The TRS has raised “Operation Lotus” allegations since 2019. (File)


Days after accusing the BJP of a failed poaching bid, the Telangana government yesterday informed the high court that it has withdrawn the general consent given to the CBI to probe cases in the state.

This comes days after the BJP’s state general secretary, Gujjula Premendar Reddy, moved the Telangana High Court seeking a CBI probe into the allegations that some men, linked to his party, tried to poach MLAs of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s TRS.

He contended before the court that it was a conspiracy by KCR’s party to defame the BJP and said that a “neutral agency”, like the CBI or a Special Investigation Team (SIT) ordered by the court, should probe the case. 

Accusing the TRS of staging a drama – “scripted, directed and produced” by the Chief Minister – the party leaders also approached the Election Commission.

During the hearing of Gujjula Premendar Reddy’s plea yesterday, the Additional Advocate General (AAG) informed the high court that the state government had withdrawn all previous general consents granted to the central investigating agency in August itself.

Three men were detained earlier this week from a farmhouse near Hyderabad in the act of bribing four MLAs of TRS to switch to the BJP, the police had said.

Police claimed that one of the MLAs, Pilot Rohit Reddy – who owns the farmhouse – tipped the police off about the “deal”. A First Information Report or FIR was then registered based on Mr Reddy’s complaint that alleges that 250 crore was on the table for four MLAs.

The MLAs called the police, saying they were being “lured and bribed to change parties”, Telangana police chief Stephen Raveendra told NDTV. “They said they were offered big money, contracts and posts to switch parties,” he said.

If they didn’t join the BJP, “there will be criminal cases and raids by ED (Enforcement Directorate)/CBI and the Telangana Government led by TRS party will be toppled,” the FIR by Rohit Reddy said.

In August, with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar by his side, Mr Rao had said that all state governments should withdraw the general consent given to the CBI.

“All central investigative agencies, including the CBI, are being misused by the BJP-ruled centre to target its political rivals. This should stop now and all state government should withdraw their consent to the CBI,” he had said.

According to Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establish, the CBI needs consent from the respective state governments for conducting investigations in their jurisdictions.

If the general consent is withdrawn, the agency has to seek permission from the state government for registering a case. 

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