Madhya Pradesh crisis: Digvijaya Singh stopped from meeting rebel Madhya Pradesh MLAs staying at Bengaluru resort

Digvijay Singh turned up outside the resort on March 18, 2020 wanting to meet rebel Congress MLAs from Madhya Pradesh holed up inside.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was taken into preventive custody here on Wednesday while trying to meet the rebel Congress MLAs from Madhya Pradesh staying in a resort. The Karnataka High Court rejected his plea for a directive to the police chief not to stop him from meeting the MLAs.

Also read: SC refuses proposal to produce rebel Congress MLAs in judges chamber, says can’t be held captive

Mr. Singh, along with other Congress leaders, was held at the Amrutahalli police station where Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar arrived.

He plans to meet Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and request that he be allowed to meet the MLAs.

Mr. Singh flew down to the city earlier in the day with a few Ministers and senior Congress MLAs from Madhya Pradesh.

As he tried to enter Ramada Resort near Yelahanka, the police stopped him. He started a sit-in on the street. “I am a candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha election, and my voters are inside the resort. Please let me in alone. I will appeal to my voters and come back,” Mr. Singh was seen appealing to police officers.

However, they refused permission, citing a letter from the MLAs in which they said they did not want to meet anyone and they also perceived a threat from Congress leaders.

Also read: Rebels in Bengaluru speaking under duress, must be freed immediately: Madhya Pradesh Minister

Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Singh alleged that the Congress MLAs were kept captive in the resort. “Not just these MLAs, even those outside have been offered ₹25 crore to ₹30 crore by the BJP to switch sides. These MLAs were brought in a chartered flight, paid for by the BJP, and BJP leaders accompanied them, proving this is a conspiracy by the BJP to unseat an elected government,” he said.

As Mr. Singh refused to leave without meeting the MLAs, the police took him into preventive custody along with other leaders, including Krishna Byre Gowda and N.A. Haris of Karnataka.

MLAs holed up there. He was also detained by police and not allowed to meet the MLAs.

Editorial | For a floor test first: On Madhya Pradesh crisis

The court said the police action, stopping Mr. Singh from meeting the MLAs, “cannot be termed [an act of] high-handedness or violation of the rule of law” because the rebel MLAs had written a letter to the Director-General and Inspector- General of Police (DG&IGP) with a request not to allow any Congress leaders to meet them.

Court stand

Justice R. Devdas, before whom Mr. Singh’s petition was taken up for an urgent hearing in the evening, also noticed that the MLAs staying in the resort had also written a letter, requesting the DG&IGP to ensure that no such person was allowed to meet them.

Going by the content of the letters, the court said, the police action could not be termed illegal. On the allegation that Mr. Singh was illegally detained, the court asked the State to file its statement of objection and adjourned further hearing till March 26.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 12:11:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/digvijaya-singh-detained-after-trying-to-meet-rebel-madhya-pradesh-mlas-staying-at-bengaluru-resort/article31096750.ece

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