Telangana phone-tapping row: Congress demands disqualification of former CM KCR as MLA

In his 9 April confession statement, former deputy commissioner of police (DCP) P Radha Kishan Rao said that BRS chief KCR, the then chief minister, had ordered the arrest of BJP general secretary BL Santhosh.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 29, 2024 | 2:21 PMUpdatedMay 29, 2024 | 2:21 PM

Opposition leader K Chandrashekar Rao. (File pic/Supplied)

The ruling Congress in Telangana on Tuesday, 28 May, urged the state government to take steps to censure and disqualify former Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in view of the confession of a former police official in the phone-tapping case.

The BJP too has sought action against Rao, also known as KCR.

When contacted, senior BRS leader and former MP Vinod Kumar said the party denies all the allegations made in the confessional statement.

As per former Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) P Radha Kishan Rao’s confessional statement on 9 April, one of the accused in the phone tapping case, ‘Peddayana’ — an indirect reference to Bharat Rashtra Samithi chief and former CM KCR — had ordered the arrest of BJP National General Secretary BL Santhosh in connection with alleged attempt to poach his party MLAs.

Although a notice was issued to him, BL Santhosh was never arrested in the case.

KCR allegedly wanted to use the “BRS MLAs” poaching case to force BJP into a compromise to get rid of the ED case against his daughter and MLC K Kavitha, according to the confession statement, the details of which came out only on Monday, 27 May.

Interestingly, the confessional statement came days ahead of 4 June, when the counting of the votes polled for the Lok Sabha elections is to take place.

Also Read: KTR threatens legal action against Congress leaders and media reporting their statements

‘BRS, BJP use same style in misusing police, intelligence agencies’

Senior Vice-president of the state Congress G Niranjan claimed that the confession of the ex-police official should be taken seriously and that the report should be discussed in a special meeting of the assembly.

“We urge Chief Minister Revanth Reddy and Speaker Prasad Kumar to convene a special assembly session and to pass a censure motion against KCR, Harish Rao and KTR and also to take steps to cease their assembly membership,” Niranjan said in a release.

He alleged that the confession of the ex-police official shows that the BRS and BJP “have the same style” in misusing police and intelligence agencies.

If the BJP uses CBI, ED and other agencies to corner the opposition, it will be clear how brazenly BRS used the SIB and Task Force of the city police, Niranjan said.

He said that BRS Working President KT Rama Rao’s role in the issue should also be inquired into. If some officials who are facing allegations are abroad, they should be brought back to the country, the Congress leader said.

Also Read: Former DCP Radha Kishan Rao says KCR ordered arrest of BJP general secretary BL Santhosh

Ex-DCP alleges political maneuvering by KCR

Radha Kishan Rao said the SIT could not arrest Santhosh, which angered KCR. “Peddyanna was angry that the SIT could not complete the work as he had wanted,” he said.

The case eventually went to the Telangana High Court, which issued no-arrest orders. The case was a later date transferred to the CBI.

“I will not disclose further details of the case as I owe a lot to ‘peddyanna’, who re-appointed me two times and posted me in the city task force after my retirement in 2020,” he said.

Radha Kishan Rao also claimed that KCR was keen on defeating BJP in the by-election to the Munugode Assembly seat in 2022 after the saffron party had won the Dubbak and Huzurabad by-elections.

When BJP leaders tried to reach out to four BRS MLAs, KCR came to know about it and ordered surveillance be kept on the saffron party leaders, he said. Rao said that SIB chief Prabhakar Rao spoke about BJP’s attempts to spirit away BRS MLAs.

Later, an audio tape of the conversation of the BJP leaders — on whom the surveillance focused — was sent to KCR. After listening to the conversation, KCR decided to lay a trap for them, said the former top cop.

Before the operation, KCR sent task force members to Delhi to purchase spy cameras that were set up at the farmhouse a day ahead of the sting operation, he claimed.

The entire operation was conducted by Cyberabad Police, Radha Kishan Rao is believed to have said in his official statement.

Also Read: Extortion via electoral bonds: Probe in T’gana phone tapping case reveals shocking details

BJP alleges nexus between BRS, Congress

Meanwhile, state BJP spokesman NV Subhash said the confession of Radha Kishan Rao vindicated BJP’s allegation that KCR was the architect in the “BRS MLAs” poaching case.

“KCR hatched a conspiracy to defame BJP and named a senior party functionary in the case, which is now exposed “with the revelation of Radha Kishan Rao”, he said.

“Rao confessed that the former CM wanted to work out a compromise with BJP to bail out his MLC daughter K Kavitha in the Delhi liquor policy case, ” Subhash alleged.

Subhash accused the then BRS government led by KCR of misusing police officials against his political rivals and demanded that the state’s Congress government take action against the former CM.

There are so many allegations against the BRS chief but Telangana CM Revanth Reddy’s government is not taking any action, which shows that there is a nexus between the BRS and Congress, Subhash claimed.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj, with PTI inputs)