The Telangana Police have summoned Bharatiya Janata Party leader BL Santhosh in a case pertaining to alleged attempts by the party to poach leaders from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, NDTV reported on Saturday.

The police’s special investigation team has directed him to appear before it on November 21, failing which he will be arrested.

The summons has been issued under Section 41(A) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, under which the police can arrest a person for not appearing before the authorities at a given time.

The BJP has filed a petition in the Telangana High Court challenging the notice issued to the party’s national general secretary. Party leader Premender Reddy has sought a stay on the summons, India Today reported.

“We have filed a petition because the SIT is harassing people who are not even related to the case in the name of investigation,” Reddy claimed.

On October 27, the police had filed a first information report under the Prevention of Corruption Act against a Hindu seer named D Simhayaji, his disciple Ramachandra Bharati alias Satiesh Sharma and businessman Nandakumar. The police accused them of trying to lure four Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLAs to join the BJP by offering them large amounts of money.

The four MLAs – P Rohit Reddy, Bheeram Harshavardhan Reddy, P Rega Kantha Rao, Guvvala Balaraju – were seen at a farmhouse in the Aziz Nagar area of Cyberabad on October 26.

On November 3, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao released videos to back the claims made by the TRS. He alleged that the attempt to poach TRS MLAs was an organised crime that had the support of Santhosh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP National President JP Nadda.

The BJP, however, has denied the allegations of poaching, claiming that they were a part of “TRS drama”. Union minister G Kishan Reddy has demanded that the Central Bureau of Investigation or a sitting Supreme Court judge look into the case.