The election to the Telangana Legislative Council from the Assembly constituency, on Monday, took an ugly turn on Sunday evening with sleuths of the Anti-Corruption Bureau arresting Telugu Desam MLA A. Revanth Reddy on the charge of trying to bribe a nominated member of the Assembly representing the Anglo-Indian community, Elvis Stephenson.
High drama prevailed when the arrest took place after a concealed video recording of the conversation between Mr. Reddy and Mr. Stephenson at the house of the latter’s son at Lallaguda.
Later Mr. Reddy was shifted to the ACB headquarters at Banjara Hills, where his statement was recorded before he was taken to a Magistrate. TDP leaders and workers rushed to the ACB office and staged a sit-in till late night.
ACB Director General A.K. Khan told journalists later that a trap was laid for Mr. Reddy. on the basis of a written complaint by Mr. Stephenson after two days of negotiations between them. The MLA was booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code. The crime was cognizable and non-bailable.
Mr. Khan said Mr. Reddy and three others — Sebastian Harry, Uday Simha and Dushyanth — had come to the residence of Mr. Stephenson’s son carrying Rs. 50 lakh as advance but the deal was for Rs. 5 crore. It was only after satisfying themselves about the crime, the ACB officials who were lurking nearby picked up the four. They would be produced before an ACB court after completion of the documentation. He denied the charge that ACB had released video footage of the conversation between Mr. Reddy and Mr. Stephenson. “We have the evidence with us and nothing has been made available to the media. Our officers behaved in a very professional manner,” he said.
The TDP MLA countered the ACB claim and said a sting operation was carried out on him to fix him in a false case at the instance of Chief Minister and TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao. He vowed to take up a struggle to dethrone Mr. Rao. The arrest of the legislator was another big jolt for the TDP after its Kukatpally MLA Madhavaram Krishna Rao joined the TRS on Saturday.