Lookout notice against Thushar Vellapally over Operation Lotus in Telangana

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Thushar is the leader of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kerala. Photo: Manorama Online.

Hyderabad: A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Telangana Police has issued a lookout notice against Kerala-based politician and businessman Thushar Vellapally over an alleged attempt to poach MLAs of the ruling party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

Thushar is the leader of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kerala.

The notices were issued against Thushar, who is also the convenor of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in Kerala, and Dr Jaggy Swamy after they failed to appear before the SIT for questioning.

Earlier, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao accused Tushar of orchestrating ‘Operation Lotus’, the strategy to engineer mass defections from rival parties.

He charged Tushar, the nominee of BJP veteran leader Amit Shah, with offering Rs 100 crore to lure four of the TRS legislators to the opposition BJP in the state.

The TRS chief had called a press meeting and released five videos, lasting half an hour, allegedly showing Thushar’s agents talking about the offer to TRS MLAs.

He also distributed some photos showing Thushar along with Amit Shah and certain other documents.

He claimed Thushar was the force behind those arrested in the case relating to alleged attempts to poach the TRS MLAs.

Following this, the Telangana police conducted raids at many places, including Kochi.

The SIT team reached Thushar’s house at Kanichukulangara in Kerala's Alappuzha district the other day and issued the summons asking him to appear before the sleuths for questioning.

The police team was led by Nalgonda Superintendent of Police Rama Maheshwari.

The footage released by TRS leadership against Thushar was that of the hidden cameras at the farmhouse of P Rohit Reddy MLA located near Hyderabad.

The cops lodged cases against Ramachandra Bharati, Kore Nandu Kumar, and Simhayaji Swamy based on a complaint filed by Rohit Reddy that he was offered Rs 100 crore to defect to BJP. The video clips show the arrested explaining to the four MLAs the “benefits” of joining the BJP after leaving the TRS.

Rohit Reddy can be seen in the video turning on the mobile speaker and talking to another person which he claimed to be Thushar.

Chief Minister Rao also alleged it was Thushar’s voice at the other end who can be clearly heard in the video saying, “We can consider the matter from tomorrow.

I will talk with B L Santosh (National General Secretary) about the date.” TRS was recently renamed as the Bharat Rashtra Samithi. 

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