Karnataka Congress MLAs: To Hyderabad and back in hours

The Congress MLAs were not allowed to speak to anyone from outside

Published - May 18, 2018 10:39 pm IST - HYDERABAD

No breach: Police and security personnel at a Hyderabad hotel where Karnataka Congress MLAs stayed on Friday.

No breach: Police and security personnel at a Hyderabad hotel where Karnataka Congress MLAs stayed on Friday.

The overnight drama in Bengaluru shifted to Hyderabad on Friday morning as Congress MLAs from Karnataka were shifted to the Taj Krishna hotel here amid tight security.

The first group arrived around 8 a.m. followed by another 30 minutes later. The local Congress leadership swung into action around midnight after being intimated about the arrival, and booked rooms in the name of a marriage party.

The MLAs were sent to the rooms and denied access to anyone. Vamshichand Reddy, Telangana MLA, and Youth Congress State president Anil Kumar Yadav ensured that the operation was smooth. Senior leaders including TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy, Shabbir Ali and others arrived later to meet the MLAs.

Towards the evening, former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Janata Dal(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy joined the MLAs to give them the confidence that everything was proceeding as planned. After an hour of consultation, Mr. Kumaraswamy left the hotel to join the JD(S) MLAs, who were camping at Novotel Hotel at Madhapur, 13 km away.

Former Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy greeted Mr. Siddaramaiah and exuded confidence that the Congress would form the government. All the leaders were tight-lipped and refused to speak to the media.

There was a lot of speculation about how the MLAs would be shifted back to Bangalore. While four buses were kept ready, two aircraft were in standby.

Sources revealed later in the evening that they would travel by buses as the journey was safer by road. Congress leaders were apprehensive that the aircraft may not be allowed to fly, citing technical reasons.

High drama

There was some high drama in the hotel as an MLA apparently complained that someone was trying to call him on WhatsApp. AICC secretary Madhu Yashki and Congress workers searched the premises and caught hold of a person moving suspiciously in the basement but nothing could be established. Hundreds of supporters of Karnataka MLAs landed in the city. The Supreme Court directive on the floor test gave relief to the TPCC leaders as the MLAs were to be shifted by night. They had planned for several days.

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