In yet another bid to test the loyalties of its lawmakers amid poaching fears, the Congress has called another Legislature Party meeting at 11 am on Monday. Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah has directed all the MLAs to remain present at the meeting – a third in less than a week. The meeting came a day after the Congress issued notices to four of its MLAs, who didn’t attend the earlier CLP meetings amid allegations against them of beings in BJP folds.
The Congress has been accusing the BJP of trying to topple its coalition government with the JD-S. The party had shifted its 76 MLAs to Bengaluru’s Eagleton resort in a bid to foil any poaching bid by the BJP. The MLAs are likely to return from the resort after the CLP meeting today.
The CLP meeting also comes a day after one of the Congress MLAs, camping at Eagleton resort in the outskirts of Bengaluru amid poaching fears, was admitted to Bengaluru’s Apollo Hospital. According to local media reports, Singh was rushed to hospital after he was hit with a bottle on his head by JN Ganesh during a brawl at the resort.
The Congress party, however, denied the reports and said that the lawmaker was hospitalised due to chest pain. “I don’t know about the fight Anand Singh is admitted in hospital due to chest pain. There are no injuries or anything. His parents are here at the hospital. Other issues are just speculations,” DK Suresh, also an MLA present at the hotel, was quoted as saying by ANI.hospital.
The political crisis gripped the south Indian state after Karnataka minister and Congress strongman DK Shivakumar said that three of their MLAs have gone missing and claimed that they were at a Mumbai hotel with BJP leaders. Shivakumar also alleged that they were offered money to switch sides.
Following the claims, the Congress called a legislature meeting to test the loyalties of its MLAs. However, four of them - Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was removed as a minister in the recent cabinet rejig, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli – did not turn up for the meeting.