Ru­mours rife as Congress MLA ‘goes miss­ing’

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - HTNATION -

BENGALURU: Even as the Congress and the Janata Dal (Sec­u­lar) are try­ing to keep their flock to­gether to avert at­tempts to poach them, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is try­ing to cob­ble to­gether a ma­jor­ity in the Kar­nataka assem­bly, may have scored its first suc­cess.

Anand Singh, who won the Vi­jay­na­gar seat against his BJP op­po­nent, has not been in touch with the Congress since the post­elec­tion drama in Kar­nataka started un­fold­ing. While a ma­jor­ity of the Congress MLA -elects are holed up in Ea­gle­ton Golf Re­sort at Bi­dadi on the out­skirts of Bengaluru, Anand Singh, who promised to join his col­leagues there on Wed­nes­day, hasn’t turned up till now. Two Congress MLAS — Zameer Ahmed Khan and Na­gen­dra — who had gone to Bengaluru air­port to re­ceive Anand Singh on Wed­nes­day evening, re­turned with­out him.

Until Jan­uary, Anand Singh, a fel­low min­ing baron of the Bal­lari Reddy broth­ers who had gone to jail in the Belekere iron ore min­ing scam, was in the BJP, but he quit ahead of the elec­tions and joined the Congress. Sid­dara­ma­iah de­fended Anand, say­ing the charges against him were not as se­ri­ous as those against the Reddy broth­ers and gave him a ticket from Vi­jay­na­gar.

Af­ter win­ning the seat, Singh seems to have dis­ap­peared. Congress MP D K Suresh has al­leged that Anand is in the cus­tody of BJP, while JD(S) chief Ku­maraswamy has claimed that MLAS are be­ing threat­ened to sup­port the BJP. HT’S at­tempts to reach the Mla-elect for a re­sponse proved fu­tile. BJP MP Shobha Karand­laje al­leged that Congress and JD(S) Mla-elects were be­ing held forcibly against their will. Later she tweeted, “Many of the Congress and JD(S) MLAS won by fight­ing each other. We are in touch with all of them we are con­fi­dent of get­ting sup­port of min­i­mum 120 (MLAS).”

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