Telangana MLA poaching: Sisodia wants probe into audio clip’s ‘Shah ji’

AAP leader Manish Sisodia says people must know whether “Shah ji” was Union Home Minister Amit Shah and “BL” was BJP leader BL Santosh, demands Shah’s arrest if involvement was proved

Manish Sisodia
Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, claimed that the BJP had made poaching attempts in Delhi, Punjab, and eight other states besides the recent one in Telangana (file photo)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday raised its voice over BJP’s alleged attempts to buy out rival party MLAs in Telangana, with its leader Manish Sisodia demanding the arrest of Union Home Minister Amit Shah if his involvement was proved.

Sisodia’s comment came three days after Cyberabad police scuttled an attempt by alleged BJP middlemen to lure four BRS (formerly TRS) MLAs with a Rs 100-crore bribe and central government contracts into the saffron party. The trio was detained on Wednesday night but they walked free after a court turned down the police’s appeal for their custody.

Also read: Telangana Munugode bypoll: As parties open money tap, voters seek ‘cut’

Now, an audio clip with a recorded conversation among the three men has emerged, in which they reportedly referred to one “Shah ji.” “If ‘Shah ji’ is indeed Union Home Minister Amit Shah, then he should be arrested and interrogated. Because, if a broker is caught buying an MLA, and the name of the Home Minister of the country features in it, it is very dangerous for the entire country,” Sisodia said at a Press conference.


‘Operation Lotus again’

Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, claimed that the BJP had made poaching attempts in Delhi, Punjab, and eight other states. According to him, the saffron party’s “dirty game” had once again come to the fore, this time in Telangana.

“On October 27, some of you reported that there was a raid in Cyberabad and three pimps were caught with ₹100 crore. There are photographs of those touts too. These brokers were caught running BJP’s Operation Lotus. These three brokers are Ramchandra Bharti, Simaiah, and Nand Kumar.”

Also read: Telangana MLAs’ bribery case: Leaked clip adds another twist

“On October 28, the audio of their entire conversation was out. These people, especially Bharti, were trying to make those MLAs switch from TRS to BJP,” he added.

In August, the AAP had accused the BJP of offering ₹20 crore to its MLAs to topple the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi. As expected, the BJP has rubbished the claims. Sisodia on Saturday cited a second audio recording, in which, he claimed, some of the “touts” were talking about the Delhi incident.

Another audio clip

“Today, a new audio has surfaced. It is also a conversation between the MLAs of Telangana and the touts of Operation Lotus. In this audio, one of the touts reveals that they did try it in Delhi, too. He says that they tried to make 43 AAP MLAs in Delhi switch to the BJP,” Sisodia claimed.

According to the AAP leader, the audio clips had references to “BL” too. Sisodia said people must know whether “Shah ji” was Amit Shah and “BL” was BJP leader BL Santosh.

Also read: TRS MLAs bribing case: Telangana HC stays probe till Nov 4, a day after Munugode bypoll

“The question is that you have arranged ₹1,075 crore to buy these MLAs. Whose money is this and where did it come from?” he demanded. Sisodia added that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) should track the money trail and an inquiry should be ordered into the incident.

The four MLAs of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (previously Telangana Rashtra Samithi) who were allegedly offered bribes are Guvvala Balaraju (Acchampet), Harshavardhan Reddy (Kollapur), Pilot Rohit Reddy (Tandur), and Rega Kantha Rao (Pinapaka). The incident came when campaigning for the Munugode byelection is at its peak. The MLAs complained to the police, who picked up the three men from Rohit Reddy’s farmhouse.

(With agency inputs)