A day after Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao released video clips and documents linked to an alleged Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bid to poach his party’s MLAs and bring down his government, the saffron party on Friday refuted the allegations calling them a “figment of imagination”.

Rao, who heads the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), had released the videos and documents to reporters on Thursday.

The allegations are linked to the detention and subsequent arrests of three people from a farmhouse on the outskirts of Hyderabad on October 26 for allegedly trying to lure four TRS MLAs to switch to the BJP ahead of the Munugode bypoll on November 3.

The issue sparked a political row in the state with the TRS claiming the BJP was trying to topple the government and the latter claiming the raid was “stage-managed”.

On Friday, Union minister for tourism and culture G Kishan Reddy said Rao’s outburst on Thursday night showed his insecurity, frustration and intolerance.

“The people of Telangana won’t believe such dramas enacted by four theatre artistes who have nothing to do with the BJP,” he said and demanded a judicial inquiry into the entire episode.

“The entire video drama was like digging a mountain to catch a mouse. The videos showing the purported conversation between the three persons bargaining with TRS MLAs are purely fictitious. Moreover, there was no mention anywhere in the conversation that the BJP will pull down the TRS government,” he told reporters in New Delhi.

He said the BJP did not need any “Swamijis” or “brokers” to induct legislators of other parties. “If we want to admit any leader from any other party, we do it openly by asking them to resign from their posts. We admit only those who have faith in our philosophy and the party leadership,” Reddy said.

He added that the BJP had no intention of pulling down the TRS government at a time when the elections to the state assembly were less than a year away.

“The people themselves will show the door to the TRS in the next elections. Moreover, I don’t think the TRS government is so weak as to be pulled down by the BJP by luring four MLAs,” he said.

Reddy added that three of the four MLAs – Pilot Rohit Reddy, B Harshavaradhan Reddy and Rega Kantha Rao – were elected on Congress tickets but were poached by the TRS. “Now, KCR is projecting as if they are paragons of virtue. He has no moral right to talk about democratic principles,” he said.

Reddy said the BJP central leadership would never take decisions unilaterally and it would consult local leaders on any strategy pertaining to Telangana.

Meanwhile, BJP national general secretary in-charge of Telangana, Tarun Chugh, also clarified that his party had nothing to do with the three accused – Ramachandra Bharati, Simhayaji Swamy and Nanda Kumar.

“The entire drama was masterminded by KCR. We never tried to lure any TRS MLAs or leaders, nor do we intend to do so,” Chugh told reporters in Delhi.

He added it was ironic that KCR was complaining about horse-trading of his party MLAs, whereas he himself had engineered several defections and destroyed the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party in Telangana.

TRS spokesman Palla Rajeshwar Reddy could not be reached for reaction.

By Shadab

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