A magistrate’s court in the Warangal district of Telangana late evening on Thursday, 6 April, granted bail to state BJP chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar.
Sanjay was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday for his alleged role in the leaking of SSC question papers.
The Lok Sabha member from the Karimnagar segment was named accused number 1 in the case, and sent to judicial custody for 14 days.
On Thursday, the prosecution requested the court not to grant bail to him, but the court ruled in favour of Sanjay after hearing the arguments from the defence.
The court order led to quite a bit of cheer among BJP workers in Telangana, who celebrated outside the party’s office in Hyderabad.
This, even as the Telangana High Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing of a petition challenging the remand order of Bandi Sanjay to 10 April.
Related: 2nd SSC question paper ‘leaked’, circulated on WhatsApp
BRS on the crosshairs
Earlier in the day, Sanjay said in a letter that his arrest was part of a larger conspiracy by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government in Telangana led by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, and that there was no question of succumbing to these conspiracies.
Sanjay said Prime Minister Narendra Modi withstood similar conspiracies hatched by the previous rulers against him following the Godhra violence in Gujarat in the form of court cases and malicious campaigns in the news media.
“Yet, Modi did not backtrack, and bounced back to power to become the prime minister of the country with the support of party workers,” he said.
The letter was released through Sanjay’s brother Bandi Sravan Kumar, who called on him in Karimnagar jail on Wednesday morning.
“Arresting me and harassing the BJP workers was like hitting the ball to the ground. We shall only bounce back with the same force,” Sanjay said in an open letter to the party leaders and cadre on the occasion of the BJP foundation day celebrations.
The BJP president said the BRS government had foisted false cases on him only because he had taken up cudgels on behalf of 30 lakh unemployed youth who had suffered due to leakage of question papers of recruitment tests conducted by the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC), exposing the failure of Chandrashekhar Rao’s son KT Rama Rao, who holds that responsibility in the capacity of state’s IT minister.
“I am not new to facing cases, arrests and imprisonments. I am ready to go to jail any number of times for the sake of people. My entire worry is about the future of 30 lakh unemployed youth, with whose lives the KCR government is playing. While his family members, party leaders and cronies are getting plum positions, the unemployed youth who had fought for the formation of Telangana are being denied their legitimate right to get jobs,” he said.
Sanjay said the BRS government had taken the lives of 27 Intermediate students due to malpractices in spot valuation in the past, it was playing with the lives of Class 10 students, he added.
“It was the BJP which raised its voice in Parliament against sacrifices of youth during the movement for a separate state. Now, it is the same BJP which is fighting for the cause of the unemployed and the students,” he said.
The BJP president regretted that he was not able to be present at the Prime Minister’s meeting at Hyderabad on April 8 and appealed to the party leaders to mobilise huge crowds including the unemployed youth to the rally and make it a success.
Sanjay said the time had come to uproot the corrupt KCR government which was caught neck-deep in various scams such as illicit liquor trade, drug peddling, question paper leakages, gambling and land encroachments. “Since the BJP is exposing all these scams involving KCR’s son and daughter, the government is targeting me and throwing me behind the bars in false cases, so as to damage the image of the BJP,” he said.
Wednesday’s arrest drama was only to divert the attention of the people from the allegation made by senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai who disclosed that KCR had offered to bear the entire election expenditure of all the opposition parties in the country if he was made the chairman of the opposition front.
“The people of Telangana are my family and my strength. Our ultimate objective is to liberate Mother Telangana from the clutches of KCR’s family. I call upon all of them to join me, till we achieve our objective and secure justice,” he said.
Related: BJP MLAs detained amid protest over Bandi Sanjay Kumar arrest
‘Will fight legally’
BJP MLA M Raghunandan Rao on Thursday said in Hyderabad that the party would fight against the BRS government legally in connection with the arrest of Bandi Sanjay Kumar.
At the party state office in the Nampally area of Hyderabad, he asked whether Warangal Police Commissioner AV Ranganath changed his words within two days regarding the arrest of Sanjay.
The commissioner said one thing on 4 April and another thing the next day with respect to the case, he told reporters.
Sanjay, who spoke after seeing the paper sent by someone through WhatsApp, became an accused number one. If the paper was leaked at 9.37 am, Sanjay received it on WhatsApp at 11.30 am., and by that time half of the students would have appeared for the exam and come out, he said.
One Sivaganeshan took a photo of the question paper on his phone at 9.37 am and Sanjay received it at 11.30 am. In the meantime, it was posted in 200 WhatsApp groups. He asked whether there were any BRS MLAs, leaders or activists in the groups.
Rao demanded that the Warangal Commissioner of Police answer the questions pertaining to the role of Sivaganeshan and the members of 200 WhatsApp groups instead of levelling conspiracy charges against Bandi Sanjay.
“We have faith in courts and all these questions will be examined in the court concerned,’ Rao said, adding that it is the responsibility of the police whether Sivaganeshan, who is claiming to be an accused, has deposited his phone in the court within 24 hours.
“Why was there no police at the examination centre when hundreds of children were appearing for exam?” he questioned, stating that the police were unable to inform as to how many people shared the question paper before it reached Sanjay. Accusing the BRS government of conspiring against the BJP and its State president Sanjay, Rao alleged the police were not disclosing details about WhatsApp chat of Shivganesan.
Also read: KCR is ruling Telangana like Bengal, says Bandi Sanjay
‘Misrule’, says Kishan Reddy
Telangana BJP would not lose morale with the arrest of its state unit president and MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar and the party would continue to fight to end the “misrule” of BRS, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy said on Thursday.
Sanjay Kumar has been jailed as part of BRS’ attempts to suppress the BJP, he alleged.
“This fight won’t stop with the arrest of Bandi Sanjay Kumar. There are lakhs of BJP activists in the state. Every activist would fight like a Bandi Sanjay Kumar. The Telangana society wants an end to this dictatorial, corrupt, arrogant and family rule. It wants an end to this with the BJP… We should rededicate ourselves on the occasion of BJP’s formation day,” he said.
“Today, our State president is in jail. BJP is not a party that frets over issues like these. From Galli (street) to Delhi, we will fight against corruption and family rule in this country,” he added.
The Union Minister urged party activists and people to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public meeting to be held at Parade Ground on April 8 here a great success.
Meanwhile, the BJP leaders took a pledge that they will become partners in the fight to end the alleged corrupt and dictatorial rule of BRS led by K Chandrashekar Rao and to safeguard democracy in the state.
Also read: ‘BJP will hoist saffron flag in Telangana after next elections’
Eatala served notice
Meanwhile, the Warangal police issued a notice to BJP MLA Eatala Rajender under sections of the CrPC and the IT Act, among other laws.
Rajender was asked to appear before the police at 11 am on Friday at DCP (Cental Zone) Office in Hanamkonda.
In the notice, the police said he planned and conspired malpractices in the SSC public examination with the intention of creating rumours and provoking a breach of peace of the ongoing examinations in the state.
The police requested Rajender to provide his mobile phone details and other evidence required in this case.