Karnataka: Cong MLAs fight at resort; one in hospital

Last Updated 08 February 2019, 12:32 IST

The Congress’ attempts to keep its flock together have backfired with two of its MLAs coming to blows in the wee hours of Sunday, putting the party in a tough spot and leaving its leaders squirming.

Vijayanagar MLA Anand Singh, who spilt the beans about his fellow legislators’ plans to jump ship to the BJP, is now paying a heavy price. Singh was allegedly attacked by fellow Ballari MLA and aide J N Ganesh (Kampli), following an argument during a dinner at the Eagleton resort.

According to sources who witnessed the incident, Ganesh, furious with Singh for foiling his plans to join the BJP, attacked the latter with a liquor bottle. The two MLAs got into the drunken brawl when they were fraternising with fellow district leaders Bheema Naik (Hagaribommanahalli MLA) and recently-inducted minister E Tukaram.

Congress MLA's fear for life under HDK govt.@siddaramaiah preaches everyone of Constitutional values, we demand @dineshgrao & @siddaramaiah to immediately suspend their party MLA responsible for attack on MLA Anand Singh & uphold constitutional values.@CPBlr kindly act.

— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) January 20, 2019

The incident raised eyebrows as the four district leaders were seen hanging together all of Saturday. They had attended the Ballari mineral fund meeting chaired by Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar in Vidhana Soudha, and later the party legislature meet at the resort. The entire episode has left the Congress, which is already on a slippery slope, red-faced.

While the DK brothers (who are herding Congress MLAs at the Eagleton and Wonderla resorts in Bidadi) ensured that Singh was rushed to hospital, they were later found floundering, when confronted by the media. While Shivakumar said Singh had left the resort to attend a family wedding in Mumbai, his brother and Congress MP, who was holding the fort at the Apollo Hospitals, claimed that the MLA was hospitalised following coronary problems.

While Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and CLP leader Siddaramaiah admitted that they had heard the MLAs had fought, it was Wakf Minister B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan who revealed that Singh had sustained an eye injury.

Traumatic injuries

According to doctors at the hospital, the MLA has suffered a black eye and mild compression on his chest. Dr Ravi Mohan Rao, neurosurgeon, told DH that Singh was kept under observation for 24 hours. “He has undergone CT scan, MRI, ECG... all reports are normal. He was also examined by a cardiologist, neurologist and an orthopaedician. They have found no complications. He is being treated for external injuries at the moment. Though Singh mentioned that he fell inside the bathroom, the hospital has registered a medico-legal case and informed police as there were speculations that he was attacked,” said Dr Rao.

DCP Central D Devaraj said Seshadripuram police had received the medico-legal report from Apollo Hospitals, which, he said, had stated that Singh has sustained “traumatic” injuries. “The MLC report has been forwarded to the Ramanagara district police (Bidadi police station),” he said.

It's unfortunate that @KPCCPresident was unable to stop the fight in Eagleton resort.
We hope Anand Singh is being treated & we pray for his speedy recovery

Unfortunately @dineshgrao can't even blame BJP now, MLA's were locked up under his watch at Eagleton

Whats ur excuse now?

— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) January 20, 2019

BJP gains advantage

The BJP milked the incident in a bid to gain political mileage. It alleged that Singh was brutally attacked and that his life was under threat. It also attacked the police for not registering a suo motu case.

Siddaramaiah rushed to the Bidadi resort from Koppal and took Ganesh to task. He, along with AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, held a meeting with party MLAs.

The MLAs, who were supposed to return to their constituencies on Sunday, will stay put at the resort for at least one more day.

(Published 20 January 2019, 08:21 IST)

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