Mumbai: Fourteen Karnataka rebel lawmakers have written to the Mumbai Police again, seeking protection from senior Congress leaders who may try to meet them. Reports said Congress leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge and Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara were set to visit the rebels at Renaissance Hotel in Powai. (Also read: Rebel MLA Stands Ground, Says Won’t Take Back Resignation)
The letter also mentions Ghulam Nabi Azad. “We have absolutely no intention to meet Shri Mallikarjun Kharge ji or Ghulam Nabi Azad ji or any Congress dignitaries or functionaries from Maharashtra and Karnataka Congress team leader or any other political leader… we anticipate a serious threat from them,” the letter said.
Last week, Mumbai Police had to restrain Congress leader DK Shivakumar from entering the hotel after the rebels had sought protection from senior leaders. Shivakumar was detained outside the Mumbai hotel on July 10 and was later escorted to the airport by policemen.
The Supreme Court said last week that no decision would be taken on the rebel MLAs till Tuesday. According to ANI, the rebel lawmakers may also approach the top court against the Congress leaders if they try to meet them.
Interestingly, the signatories to the letter include Congress legislator MTB Nagaraj, who on Saturday had agreed to come back to the coalition fold after being coaxed by Congress leader Siddaramaiah and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
On Sunday, however, he again arrived in Mumbai and accompanying him was BJP leader R Ashok. Some reports even mentioned state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa’s personal assistant Santosh as accompanying him on the flight.
Sixteen legislators of the JDS-Congress coalition and two independent lawmakers resigned from the state Assembly last week, leaving the year-old Kumaraswamy coalition government in the doldrums.
If the Speaker accepts the resignations of the rebels, the coalition’s number will be down to 100. The majority mark will drop to 105. The BJP, which has 105 MLAs, also has the support of two Independents so its tally will reach 107.