'Ballari MLAs divided over Siddaramaiah-DKS rivalry'

G Janardhana Reddy

The assault on Congress MLA Anand Singh was the result of rivalry between Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar, former minister and mining baron G Janardhana Reddy claimed on Wednesday.

“This is nothing but Siddaramaiah versus Shivakumar,” Reddy, a former BJP leader, told reporters after visiting Singh at the hospital where he is receiving treatment. Reddy and Singh together were with the BJP earlier.

Congress legislators from the Ballari district have been divided into two groups because of the power struggle between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar, Reddy claimed.

“MLAs B Nagendra, J N Ganesh and Bheema Naik are with the Siddaramaiah camp whereas Singh is under Shivakumar’s shelter. The same MLAs who were working for the development of Ballari are now fighting amongst themselves. It is their misfortune that they joined the Congress,” Reddy said, in what looked like a veiled invitation to the MLAs to jump ship.

Singh, who represents the Vijayanagar constituency in Ballari, was admitted to the hospital on January 20 after he was allegedly assaulted by fellow party legislator J N Ganesh (Kampli) in a drunken brawl at the Eagleton Resort.  

Reddy accused the government of “hesitation” in arresting Ganesh. “It’s shameful that one MLA has gone absconding. No one can forgive Ganesh and he should be arrested,” Reddy said.

Singh still in hospital

Singh is unable to walk and has to remain in the hospital for another couple of days for treatment, his son Siddharth said on Wednesday.

“He has been on bedrest for the past three days and is consuming only fluids. Fracture has been ruled out below the right eye and below the chest. Fracture has been ruled out for two ribs.

Once swelling near the eye reduces, doctors will decide on what to do. He will have to stay in the hospital for 4-5 days,” Siddharth told reporters.

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