Karnataka turmoil: two trust votes in 10 days

Karnataka political crisis: case of missing Congress MLA stalls Assembly

Kagawad Congress MLA Shrimant Balasaheb Patil. Photo: Facebook/@shrimantbpatil

Kagawad Congress MLA Shrimant Balasaheb Patil. Photo: Facebook/@shrimantbpatil  

Our MLA Shrimanth Balasaheb Patil is missing, Congress tells Speaker.

The case of a missing Congress MLA stalled the Legislative proceedings of Karnataka Assembly on July 18, while the House had to take up the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.

As soon as the Assembly began its afternoon session, Irrigation Minister D.K. Shivakumar of the Congress informed the Speaker that his party MLA Shrimanth Balasaheb Patil has been missing and claimed that he was taken away by the BJP to Mumbai. Mr. Shivakumar submitted documents and photographs of what he claimed as proof to show Mr. Patil left for Mumbai with BJP leader Lakshman Savadi.

The Congress claimed Mr. Patil was healthy but has been admitted to a Mumbai hospital against his will. “Last night we received a message that he was missing from the resort where we were put up... Today we are seeing he’s ill,” MLA and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao said.

Seeking an investigation into the issue, Mr. Rao accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy to keep Mr. Patil away from the Assembly. Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah too wrote to the Speaker alleging that the MLA has been kidnapped.

Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar informed the House that his office received a letter allegedly from Mr. Patil saying he cannot attend the entire session and he has been admitted to a hospital after complaining of chest pain. “The letter is not even on his letterhead. I don’t even know if this hospital exists. How can I accept this as a genuine letter,” Mr. Kumar wondered.

The Speaker ordered Home Minister M.B. Patil to probe the matter and submit a report by July 19 morning. . “I will have to call the DG&IGP of the State if the government doesn’t behave properly,” he warned.

The BJP denied any role in Mr. Patil’s absence and accused Congress of using tactics to delay the trust vote.

Amid pandemonium the House was adjourned for 30 minutes.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 7:44:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-political-crisis-case-of-missing-congress-mla-stalls-assembly/article28550141.ece

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