Resort politics, political dramas and infighting in political parties are not new to Karnataka. But this time around, Congress MLAs have allegedly indulged in a brawl, landing one of them in hospital. In the early hours of Sunday, Vijayanagara MLA Anand Singh and Kampli MLA JN Ganesh allegedly fought after a party at the Eagleton Resort in Bengaluru. The two reportedly had an argument over Ganesh trying to defect to the BJP.
Sources in the Congress say that JN Ganesh allegedly hit Anand Singh on his head with a liquor bottle during the fight. The Congress MLAs have been cooped up in Eagleton Resort since Friday night after massive speculation that several MLAs were defecting to the BJP. The party issued a whip and flocked its MLAs to Eagleton in a show of strength.
The Congress, however, has denied that the brawl ever took place. Speaking to the media, Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar denied that the two MLAs were involved in a brawl. "There was no fight, no assault, no liquor bottles; both the MLAs will speak to the media soon," DK Shivakumar said. However, several Congress leaders, including DK Shivakumar's brother and Kanakapura MLA DK Suresh, visited Anand Singh at the hospital.
The fight over defection
On Saturday, the MLAs attended the Congress Legislative Party meeting chaired by former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at Eagleton Resort. Congress sources say that a party was organised for the MLAs at Eagleton, which went on till 3 am on Sunday.
"The BJP had approached several Congress MLAs and offered them money to defect. JN Ganesh wanted to defect. He had come to the CLP meeting as the chief whip and threatened to disqualify those who do not show up. He did not know that the MLAs were being taken to Eagleton. He had planned to go back to BJP," a Congress source said.
JN Ganesh, who was close friends with Anand Singh, had allegedly confided in him about the BJP's offer. "Anand Singh, in turn, had been informing the party's leaders about the BJP's plans. It was this information, which helped the Congress tackle the BJP's move to poach MLAs," the source said.
Anand Singh and Ganesh started arguing over this. JN Ganesh accused Anand Singh of betraying his trust. "At this point, it was only verbal arguments. By Sunday morning, Anand Singh and JN Ganesh's fight got out of hand and Ganesh hit Anand with a liquor bottle," the Congress source said.
Anand Singh was rushed to Apollo Hospital in Sheshadripuram, where he is currently undergoing treatment. Sources with Congress said that Anand Singh was brought in around 7.05 am on Sunday and was admitted to the in-patient block. He is currently recuperating.