Initial reports indicated that 13 legislators were taken away but later BJP leaders said that 11 legislators, including 7 of their own party, were "kidnapped" by a group of 'goons'.
Thirteen of the 14 rebel Karnataka MLAs left the south Goa beach resort on Saturday after talks with BJP leaders failed. They abandoned the talks and left for the Dabolim airport.
Talking to journalists at the airport, the former Minister, Anand Asnotikar, said they would vote against the Yeddyurappa government on Monday. Of the 13, eight are from the BJP and five are Independents.
They dismissed the contention of Goa BJP leaders Manohar Parrikar and Sripad Naik that they were being “kidnapped by goondas of the Janata Dal(S)” and insisted that they left the hotel on their own.
Earlier PTI story adds
BJP rebels ‘dragged out’ of meeting with leaders
A high-voltage political drama unfolded at a five-star hotel in Goa this afternoon when 11 dissident legislators, who were in a meeting with BJP emissaries, were taken out of the place and transported to the airport. The BJP leaders claimed that “some goons” took away 11 legislators who were “dragged” into cars.
Initial reports indicated that 13 legislators were taken away but later BJP leaders said that 11 legislators, including 7 of their own party, were “kidnapped” by a group of “goons“.
Two BJP MLAs, including Karnataka Revenue Minister Renukacharya, who led the dissidents, remained at the hotel meeting.
“They (the dissident MLAs) were sitting in a meeting when suddenly goons appeared from nowhere and took them away. We were stunned,” BJP MP from Goa, Sripad Naik, who took part in the parleys, told the media outside the hotel.
Mr. Renukacharya, who was the last one to walk out of the hotel along with BJP supporters, said that Janata Dal (S) leader Kumarswamy’s close aide Jamir Ahmad was leading the group of 'goons' who kidnapped the legislators.
The events came as a surprise for BJP, which was hoping to break the ice with the dissidents by Saturday evening. Mr. Naik said that the final round of talks were going on when the group of 'goons' appeared.
“The legislators did not want to go but they were dragged and dumped into the vehicles,” Mr. Naik claimed.
At the hotel gates, police had cordoned the entire area and legislators packed in four jeeps were taken in a strict protection.
“All the issues had been settled. We all were united and had come to a consensus when goons arrived,” Mr. Renukacharya said.
Dissident BJP legislators were holed up in the hotel since Thursday. Karnataka’s Tourism Minister Janardhan Reddy, Goa’s Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar and MP Sripad Naik were the part of reconciliation efforts. Mr. Reddy had left the hotel in the afternoon claiming that he would soon return.
Sources stated that BJP leaders had held video conferencing with the party high command in Delhi to convince the dissidents.
With the latest development, the crisis continues to loom large over Yeddyurappa government, who will be facing a trial of strength in the Assembly on Monday.
Keywords: Karnataka political crisis