Telangana TDP MLA in judicial custody in cash-for-vote scam

Hyderabad, June 1 (IANS) A city court on Monday sent Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislator A. Revanth Reddy to 14-day judicial custody on charge of trying to bribe a nominated MLA to vote for a TDP-BJP candidate in the elections to Telangana legislative council.

Police shifted Revanth to Chanchalguda Central Jail after he was allowed to cast his vote in the election for six council seats being held on Monday, on the court directions.

The MLA’s two aides, Sebastian Harry and Uday Simha, were also shifted to the jail after the court remanded them as well in judicial custody.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which arrested Revanth on Sunday night after laying a trap, earlier presented him before a magistrate at his residence.

Police were directed to allow him to cast vote in the council election before shifting him to jail, besides ensuring medical treatment for his injuries allegedly sustained during a scuffle.

Revanth, a member of the assembly, was arrested on Sunday amid high drama from a flat in Vijayapuri colony in Secunderabad as he was offering Rs.50 lakh to Elvis Stephenson, a nominated member of the assembly who represents the Anglo-Indian community.

The ACB officials said the amount was advance money from a Rs.5-crore deal to make Stephenson vote for the TDP-BJP candidate. The entire proceeding was recorded on a spy camera.

ACB Director General A.K. Khan said they registered a case two days ago after receiving a written complaint.

Revanth has been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act and prov isions of the Indian Penal Code.

Revanth claimed his innocence and alleged that he was implicated in a false case by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government as a part of a political conspiracy.

Immediately after his arrest, TDP leaders met Director General of Police Anurag Sharma and lodged a strong protest. They also staged a sit-in till late in the night at the office of ACB, where Revanth was being interrogated.

Protesting Revanth’s arrest, the TDP has called for a shutdown in Kodangal, the assembly constituency he represents.

TDP activists on Monday staged protests in parts of the state to condemn Revanth’s arrest. They also alleged that he was arrested under a conspiracy by the TRS government and demanded his immediate release.

Meanwhile, Revanth Reddy’s lawyer has filed a bail petition in the city civil court.

Revanth’s arrest is a big blow to the TDP in Telangana as he is a key party leader taking on the TRS government. He was fighting against Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his family members both inside and outside the assembly.

TDP national president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu decided to support Revanth Reddy both politically and legally.

The TRS is using the episode to target the TDP. Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter and TRS MP K. Kavitha said the incident was proof of the kind of politics Naidu and his party were pursuing.

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