Telangana Youth Congress leader Vikram Goud, who was shot at his home on July 28, planned the attack on himself, police said on Thursday, according to PTI. A senior officer of the Hyderabad Police said that Goud hatched the conspiracy to harm himself to gain public sympathy and win a ticket for the 2019 Telangana elections.

The police arrested five people on Wednesday, who revealed Goud’s plan. The five are among eight accused in the case, including Goud, who is recovering at a hospital. Two others are absconding.

“It all started in April this year, when Vikram Goud hatched the plan and told the accused that he wanted to get a ticket for the next elections,” Hyderabad Police Commissioner M Mahendar Reddy told media. “He then asked them to procure a weapon and make an attempt on him to gain popularity as well as sympathy”. The commissioner said Goud wanted the police to believe that political rivals had attempted to kill him.

“As per the plan, S Nanda Kumar and the other accused procured a country-made weapon from Madhya Pradesh. On Goud’s instructions, two of them, namely Raees Khan and Shaik Ahmed, reached his house in the early hours of July 28. Khan fired two rounds at Goud’s hands before fleeing along with Ahmed,” the commissioner said. He added that the accused demanded Rs 50 lakh from Goud for the act.

Goud’s wife Shipali M heard the gunshots and rushed downstairs to find her husband lying on the ground with bullet wounds. He told her that a person had shot at him before fleeing, following which she made a police complaint. The police registered a case of attempt to murder, before the facts came to light.

Debts to pay

Reddy said 35-year-old Goud, who is the son of former Andhra Pradesh minister Mukesh Goud, had invested a lot of money in mining in Odisha, and was in considerable debt. The commissioner said this may have driven him to fake an attack on himself.

The top cop said Goud also wanted to get a weapon licence and gunmen for his protection. The Congress leader will be arrested once he is discharged from hospital, Reddy said. Goud has a serious spinal injury from the attack, The Indian Express reported.