New twist in K'taka crisis, 13 dissident MLAs whisked away
Amidst high drama ahead of test of power for BJP in Karnataka assembly, 13 dissident MLAs, including 8 BJP legislators, were whisked away from a hotel in Goa under police escort today.india Updated: Oct 09, 2010 16:54 IST
Amidst high drama ahead of test of power for BJP in Karnataka assembly, 13 dissident MLAs, including 8 BJP legislators, were whisked away from a hotel in Goa under police escort on Saturday.
Karnataka Excise Minister Renukacharya, who had initially led the revolt by 19 legislators against Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, alleged that the legislators were forcibly taken away at the behest of Congress and JD(S) leaders, minutes after they returned to the party fold.
"Over 100 goons forcibly took away 13 MLAs (and not 11 MLAs), including 5 independent legislators. BJP high command and Yeddyurappa had agreed to meet all their demands and they were ready to support the BJP,” he told Hindustan Times over phone from Goa.
The excise minister said he was offered the post of deputy chief minister and every rebel legislator was willing to leave for Bangalore, when they were whisked away to undisclosed locations. The goons also took away his mobile phone, he added.
Karnataka Tourism Minister G Janardhan Reddy had been leading a group of emissaries to hold discussions with the rebel camp in the Goa hotel. The rebels were moved out soon after he and two other leaders left the hotel.
Governor H R Bharadwaj had asked the chief minister to prove majority after 19 MLAs - 14 BJP and 5 independent legislators - had submitted letters to him seeking withdrawal of their support to the BJP government on or before October 12.
Karnataka Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah on Friday had issued show-cause notices under anti-defection laws to 11 dissident BJP MLAs asking them to explain their move of withdrawing support from the government.
Bopaiah move was questioned by a group of Congress leaders who met Governor H R Bharadwaj on Saturday asking him to intervene and prevent the BJP from 'misusing' the speaker's office.
A delegation of JD(S) leaders also met Bharadwaj asking him to appoint observers for the assembly session where the confidence motion would be moved.
The power struggle took an ugly turn when police found objectionable material used for tantric rituals outside the assembly building here on Friday night. Unidentified persons had left lemon pieced with needles, eggs, a severed chicken head, turmeric power and a voodoo doll.
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who visited several temples during the day, accused the JD(S) of indulging in black magic.
Police have tightened the vigil around the assembly building.
Luggage of people leaving the Bangalore International Airport was being thoroughly checked to ensure large sums of money were not being carried. The move came after allegations of horsetrading flew from all quarters.