Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar at Amruthahalli Police Station in Bengaluru on Mar 18, 2020. (ANI photo)
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar at Amruthahalli Police Station in Bengaluru on Mar 18, 2020. (ANI photo)

Digvijaya Singh on hunger strike in Bengaluru, says MLAs under BJP’s ‘lock and key’

Digvijaya Singh, who is Congress’ Rajya Sabha candidate, said the Karnataka police are not allowing him to meet the MLAs.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAR 18, 2020 10:35 AM IST

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh arrived in Bengaluru in the early hours of Wednesday to meet the rebel Congress MLAs holed up in a city hotel.

Digvijaya Singh, who is Congress’ Rajya Sabha candidate from Madhya Pradesh, said the Karnataka police are not allowing him to meet the MLAs.

The Congress leader tweeted that he is “not armed” and is in the city just to meet his party MLA. He also alleged that the BJP has kept the MLAs under “lock and key”.

“...I am not a threat to them. I am here to meet them in full public view, not secretly. But BJP wants to keep them under lock and key. They have abducted democracy,” said the veteran leader in a tweet.

Digvijaya Singh staged a sit-in outside the Ramada Hotel in Bengaluru but was forced out by police and taken in preventive custody. In protest, the leader announced he is on hunger strike.

“We have been taken to the local DCP office by Bengaluru police. I demand that we must be allowed to meet our MLAs , who are in BJP’s captivity. I announce my Hunger Strike, till we are allowed to meet our MLAs. We live in Democracy, not Dictatorship,” the leader said in another tweet.

The leader claimed that the police were following the MLAs round the clock and that he was approached by the families of the MLAs to meet them.

“We were expecting them to come back, but when we saw they’re being held back, messages came from their families...I personally spoke to 5 MLAs, they said they’re captive, phones snatched away, there is Police in front of every room. They’re being followed 24/7,” said the former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.

The Madhya Pradesh crisis began last week when senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia joined the BJP and 22 MLAs resigned from the assembly thereafter.

The speaker later accepted the resignations of six members, bringing the strength of the House to 222, with the majority mark at 112.

The 22 Congress lawmakers from Madhya Pradesh in Bengaluru appeared before the media on Tuesday and said they were with BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and had not been held captive. The MLAs said they were open to the idea of returning to their home state immediately if provided Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) security.

In Delhi, the Supreme Court will hear a petition by the BJP, which seeks immediate floor test in Madhya Pradesh.

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