The 'MLAs poaching' case has impacted the BJP's campaign for Munugode Assembly by-election, while the of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is working aggressively to cash in on the alleged attempt by the saffron party to buy its MLAs.
In an apparent fall-out of the case, the BJP has cancelled the October 31 public meeting which was scheduled to be addressed by its national president J.P. Nadda.
The decision came amid the political storm triggered by the alleged attempt by three BJP agents to 'buy' four TRS MLAs.
The arrests and leak of sensational audio tapes of the telephonic conversation between the accused and TRS leaders have caused a huge embarrassment to the BJP and put the saffron party on the defensive ahead of the November 3 by-election.
After the arrest of three alleged agents of BJP on October 26 from a farmhouse near Hyderabad, the TRS went aggressive in its campaign. The ruling party leaders are targeting the saffron party for the conspiracy to topple the TRS government.
Though the saffron party has denied any link with the aMLAs poaching' case, it is apparent that the episode has rattled the party in the midst of a by-election campaign.
The proposed public meeting to be addressed by Nadda was planned as the highpoint of the BJP campaign and also a counter to the October 30 rally to be addressed by Chief Minister and TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
The BJP, however, denied that the cancellation of the public meeting had anything to do with the case. Its leaders said the party decided to organise mandal level public meetings instead of a large public meeting.
The BJP's Telangana unit has invited Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Union Minister Smriti Irani for the mandal-level public meetings. The party is also trying to rope in Tejaswi Surya and other leaders for the campaigning during the last two days.
The saffron party plans to mobilize 25,000 people for each of the mandal-level public meetings.
State BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar has launched a counter-attack on TRS by daring KCR to swear at Yadadri temple that MLAs poaching drama was not scripted by him.
As there was no response from the ruling party to his challenge, Sanjay visited the temple on Friday and took the pledge that the BJP has nothing to do with the attempt to buy TRS MLAs.
The by-election, scheduled to be held on November 3, was necessitated by resignation of Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy, who quit the Congress party and joined BJP.
Meanwhile, TRS cadres were busy making arrangements for the public meeting at Bangarigadda village in Chandur mandal.
Chief Minister KCR, who is yet to comment on the case, is likely to launch an all-out attack on the BJP over its alleged attempt to buy the TRS MLAs and destabilize the state government.
Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Nanda Kumar and Simhayaji Swamy were arrested by police from a farmhouse near Hyderabad on October 26 when they were trying to lure four MLAs of TRS with offers of huge sums of money.
Cyberabad police conducted the raid on a tip-off by Pilot Rohit Reddy, one of the MLAs. He alleged that the accused offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs 50 crore each to three others.
The accused were booked under various sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act. They were produced before a magistrate on the night of October 27 but he refused to send them to judicial custody, citing lack of evidence.
Following the court orders, the police released the accused. Later, the police approached Telangana High Court challenging the orders of the lower court.
Audio tapes of the telephonic conversation between Ramachandra Bharati and Rohit Reddy were leaked by the TRS team on Friday.
The accused discussed the 'deal' to buy MLAs and also mentioned the names of some top BJP leaders.