Revanth Reddy, a lawmaker of Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party smiled and was greeted enthusiastically by party colleagues as he entered the Telangana Assembly today to vote in elections to the state's legislative council.
A short while earlier, a Hyderabad court remanded Mr Reddy in judicial custody for 14 days, allowing him to vote. Mr Reddy was arrested on Sunday after allegedly being caught trying to bribe a fellow MLA to vote for his party's nominee in today's election.
Two other people, including a Bishop, Harry Sebastian, and a man called Uday Simha have been arrested.
The anti-corruption branch or ACB of Telangana police said it laid a trap for Mr Reddy based on a written complaint from nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson, who represents the Anglo-Indian community in the Telangana Assembly and alleged that he was offered Rs 5 crore" and a ticket to leave the country or to vote in favour of TDP."
The ACB said it has "collected clinching evidence in the form of audio/video recording and has also recovered the entire advance amount of Rs. 50 lakhs offered to Sri Elvis Stephenson."
In a video recording, Mr Reddy is purportedly seen sitting at Mr Stephenson's Secunderabad residence and talking, while Uday Simha extracts cash out of a bag. Also on tape is the Bishop, who is alleged to have contacted Mr Stephenson on behalf of Mr Reddy.
In more embarrassment for the TDP, Mr Reddy talks about "boss," which political rivals allege is a reference to party chief and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.
The TDP says Mr Reddy is the victim of a giant conspiracy hatched by ruling party Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS of K Chadrashekara Rao, also known as KCR. Revanth Reddy said as he was arrested and taken away, "I am not daunted even if they put 100 cases. I will fight conspiracy by KCR. I did not bring any money."
Chandrashekara Rao's party, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, wants TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to be made "accused number one" in the case.
Elections are being held for six legislative councilor upper house seats today. The TRS will comfortably win four. The TDP and Congress hoped to win one seat each, but the TRS has made it a contest by filing nominations for five seats.