'Missing' MLAs keep leaders, cops on tenterhooks at Goldfinch hotel

'Missing' MLAs keep leaders, cops on tenterhooks at Goldfinch hotel

Vijayanagara MLA Anand Singh

High drama unfolded at the Goldfinch Hotel after Vijayanagara MLA Anand Singh and Maski MLA Pratapgouda Patil landed there on Saturday morning.

As the news spread, leaders of BJP, JD(S) and Congress rushed to the hotel to convince them to join them. By then state police chief, Neelmani N Raju, and city police commissioner T Suneel Kumar also turned up at the hotel and denied entry to any political leader. Police provided security around the hotel following the Supreme Court directions.

Speaking to media, MP D K Suresh and MLC H M Revanna of the Congress said the two legislators of their party were under the illegal custody of BJP MLA Somashekara Reddy, as he had brought them to the city in a private aircraft and kept them in the hotel. The Congress leaders said they were at the hotel to serve the party whip to the legislators. Even then, the police did not allow them to enter the hotel.

The commotion continued for nearly two and a half hours in front of the hotel as police stopped the leaders at the entry gate. Even for the police, it was tough to find out in which room the two legislators had been put up. The hotel staff did not share their whereabouts with the police.

Three teams

The police officials formed three teams to trace the legislators. Finally, Neelmani N Raju and Suneel Kumar managed to meet Patil in room number 402. They questioned him if he was confined in the hotel and whether he was abducted by any politician or their supporters for the last three days. Patil refused divulge any details and maintained silence, police said. Patil came out of the hotel at around 2.30 pm and reached Vidhana Soudha in a police vehicle.

As he entered the Soudha, BJP's Yelahanka MLA S R Vishwanath tried to drag away Patil. However, Congress leaders reached up to him and took him inside the House. Shivakumar kept the party whip in his pocket and showed him his seat.

Anand Singh appeared at the Goldfinch Hotel parking lot at around 12.30 pm. As there were mediapersons and political leaders at the main gate, he took the help of DCP (central) Chandragupta to gain entry into the hotel from the parking lot. As everyone was waiting near the main gate, he exited from the other gate and reached Vidhana Soudha with police protection.