Youth Cong workers protest outside Mumbai hotel housing rebel MLAs, detained
As the drama surrounding the floor test for Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s government stretched on on Tuesday, Mumbai police detained members of the Youth Congress as they started protesting in front of the Renaissance Hotel. This is where 15 rebel MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) coalition who had approached the Supreme Court are holed up since July 6.
The protesting Youth Congress workers were immediately detained and put in police vans as soon as they tried approaching the hotel entrance.
The protest came as Congress and JD(S)'s attempts to convince the MLAs to come back to their fold failed.
The rebels had also defied summons by the Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar to meet him with regard to the disqualification petitions; instead, their lawyers had held a meeting with the Speaker.
These 15 MLAs are Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Byrathi Basavaraj (KR Puram), ST Somashekhar (Yeshwanthpura), BC Patil (Hirekerur), Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapur), Prathapgouda Patil (Maski), Mahesh Kumathalli (Athani), K Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout), AH Vishwanath (Hunasuru), Narayana Gowda (Krishanarajapete), Munirathna Naidu (RR Nagar), Roshan Baig (Shivajinagar), MTB Nagaraj (Hoskote), K Sudhakar (Chikkaballapura) and Anand Singh (Vijayanagara).
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had also adjourned hearing on Tuesday without passing an interim order on a plea by two independent MLAs seeking an immediate floor test in Karnataka. The case will be heard again on Wednesday.
On Tuesday too, the Congress-JD(S) went on to attack the BJP in the Assembly for alleged horse-trading, while the BJP maintained that the floor test was being delayed without any basis.
Speaking at the Assembly, Congress troubleshooter and senior minister DK Shivakumar said, “Today I am hurt. My friends in Mumbai (referring to the rebels) have stabbed me in the back. The people who I worked with for decades, with whom I broke bread, and considered family, have broken my trust. They were a part of my political family and they stabbed me in the back. My stomach churns just thinking of it.”
As things stand, the BJP has a clear-cut numerical advantage with the support of two independent MLAs.