Two “missing”Congress MLAs, Anand Singh and Pratap Gouda Patil, were traced at a hotel in Bengaluru on Saturday. Both the MLAs were brought to the Karnataka assembly by the party leaders under police protection ahead of crucial trust vote. The Congress had earlier alleged that two of theor “missing” MLAs are “under pressure” to break the ranks.
Based on a tip-off that they were in the hotel, the Congress issued a whip directing them to come to the House and sought police help. Senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar said both of them were brought to the Assembly.
Earlier, senior Congress leader Veerapa Moily said the two legislators were absent, but expressed hope that they would turn up and support the party in the floor test, slated to be taken up at 4 pm.
“They (BJP) know very well that they are 104. Still they are trying everything and anything to buy our MLAs. But, our MLAs are intact. Two of our MLAs are still not here, whenever they come they will surely support us,” he told reporters.
Congress leader in Karnataka assembly Siddaramiah issued the whip directing the two, missing since the assembly election result day, to come to the Vidhana Soudha. The Congress also sought police help to track the two so that the whip can be issued to them.
This afternoon, Director General of Police Neelamani M Raju, along with Bengaluru police commissioner T Suneel Kumar, rushed to the hotel to trace them. On police presence at the hotel, Congress leader H M Revanna said, “They (police) say the Supreme Court has directed the police to protect the members (of legislative assembly).”
Senior Congress leader DK Suresh Kumar, who accompanied Revanna said, “we came here to do our duty.” The Congress has been accusing the BJP of trying to lure away its MLAs to boost its numbers for the floor test in the Assembly.
The Karnataka elections threw up a hung assembly with the BJP emerging as the single largest party with a tally of 104 seats but falling short of numbers. The Congress-JD(S) combine has staked the claim with the governor to form the government, saying they have 117 MLAs with them.
(With PTI inputs)