The Telangana High Court on Friday put a stay order till December 5 on a notice issued to Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santosh for appearing before a Special Investigation Team in a case pertaining to alleged attempts to poach four Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLAs, reported NDTV.

The police’s Special Investigation Team had directed him to appear before it on November 21, failing which he was to be arrested.

However, on November 21, Santosh said he had not received the notice, which was dated November 16. The High Court had then said that it could be sent to him through e-mail and WhatsApp. Subsequently, the BJP leader was asked to appear before the special investigation team for questioning on November 26 or November 28.

Meanwhile, Y Satish Reddy, the social media convenor of Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which is now called the Bharat Rashtra Samithi after it ventured into national politics, questioned the court’s stay on notice issued to Santosh.

“Why do you need time, if BJP really has no role in poaching case?” he tweeted. “Isn’t this evident to convey who the thief is!”

The case

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, accusing 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 his outfit. He alleged that the attempt to poach the MLAs was 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.