Attempts are being made to poach on the MLAs of Telangana’s ruling party, and three persons were detained from a farmhouse while trying to cut a deal, the Telangana police have said. The targets were four MLAs of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, who had tipped off the police, Hyderabad police chief Stephen Ravindra told NDTV in an exclusive interview. The police said the deals could be to the tune of Rs 100 crore or more. In this case, they had offered Rs 100 crore plus Rs 50 crore, he added.
The search at the farmhouse located in Aziz Nagar were conducted this evening, the police said. The MLAs had called the police saying they were being “lured and bribed to change parties,” Mr Ravindra told NDTV.
The police have so far ascertained that the men detained had come to Hyderabad on fake identities, he added.
The police said the detained persons have identified themselves as Satiesh Sharma, a priest from Haryana, D Simhayaji, a priest from Tirupathi, his devotee Rohith Reddy, and a businessman, Nandakumar.
Since 2019, there have been claims that the BJP was attempting to launch an “Operation Lotus” in Telangana, another southern state where the party is yet to find a toehold. Their claims have been fuelled by the events in Maharashtra, where the BJP-backed rebellion of Eknath Shinde toppled the Uddhav Thackeray government earlier this year.
Recently, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party claimed that the BJP was trying to poach on its MLAs in Delhi and Punjab.
In August, there were reports of a BJP leader claiming that around 18 MLAs of TRS will join the BJP soon.
The Telangana BJP has not responded to the fresh allegations.