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Karnataka’s link to MP Congress rebellion unravels as plot thickens

By PTI Updated: Mar 10, 2020 11:14 pm
Media personnel at the entrance of a resort where rebel Congress MLAs from Madhya Pradesh are staying at Devanahalli in outskirts of Bengaluru on Tuesday. (PTI)

Bengaluru, March 10 (PTI): The move by rebel ruling Congress MLAs in Madhya Pradesh to trigger the crisis for the party government appears to have been in the making at least close to a month as Karnataka BJP leaders were sounded about hosting them here in advance, according to sources.

They also indicated the 19 rebel MLAs would stay here for at least two weeks till an alternative government took charge in Madhya Pradesh.

A senior Karnataka BJP leader taking care of the Madhya Pradesh legislators stay here had got a communication from the party central leaders about the move nearly 15-20 days ago, the sources involved in the development said on condition of anonymity on Tuesday.

The leader had even gone to New Delhi in the third week of February to meet party central leaders in this regard, they said.

In a massive setback for the Congress, its prominent youth leader Jyotiradtya Scindia quit the party and in a coordinated rebellion on Tuesday 22 MLAs loyal to him resigned in Madhya Pradesh, pushing the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government to the brink of collapse.

As many as 19 Madhya Pradesh MLAs, including six Ministers, said to be loyalists of Scindia who appeared set to join BJP, are camping at a resort here. Two of them were women, the sources said.

The MLAs on Tuesday sent their resignation letters via e-mail to Raj Bhavan in Bhopal from Bengaluru.

According to the sources, eight legislators including, an independent, have been staying in the city for about a week now. Of them two – one Congress and the independent – had gone back.

The six were joined by 13 legislators, who landed in the city by a chartered flight yesterday and all of them are put up in a villa accommodation.

The senior Karnataka BJP leader, also an MLA, is looking after their stay and related arrangements here on the directions of the party high command, the sources said.

Their stay here may be long, say couple of weeks. There will be no-confidence motion, and then there will be trust vote of the new alternative government that will be formed. So they may have to stay here for some time. They may be moved out of their current location, they said.

The Madhya Pradesh legislature session is expected to begin on March 16.

The sources also said the six legislators staying here since last week were shifted a couple of times within the city.

Congress in Madhya Pradesh, under the leadership of Kamal Nath, had come to power in December 2018 by ousting the BJP by a narrow margin.

MLAs from MP seek police protection

Amid the crisis in the ruling Congress’ Madhya Pradesh unit, 19 MLAs of the party, who are staying in the city, have written to the Karnataka Director General and Inspector General of Police seeking protection and police escort.

“We have come to Karnataka state voluntarily on some important work, regarding which we require protection and escort from local police for our safe movement and safe stay in and around Bangalore,” the letter dated March 9 and signed by 19 legislators said.

The MLAs, including six ministers, on Tuesday sent their resignation letters via e-mail to the Raj Bhavan in Bhopal from Bengaluru, putting the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh in a crisis.

The move came as the congress prominent youth leader Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party and appeared set to join BJP Tuesday amid a rebellion in Madhya Pradesh by his supporters, pushing the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government to the brink of collapse.

Among the 19 here, two are women.

By PTI Updated: Mar 10, 2020 11:14:32 pm