New Delhi: One of Congress’ major firefighters, DK Shivakumar, is believed to be finding himself in a soup after repeated failed attempts to meet and urge disgruntled Karnataka MLAs lodged in a Mumbai hotel- to return.
As many as 10 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs have stationed themselves in a hotel in India’s financial capital since Saturday after they resigned from their respective Assembly segments.
In a bid to get them to return to Karnataka and save the coalition government from facing a floor test, Congress senior leader and minister DK reached Mumbai on Wednesday- but was hooted outside as the police looked on.
In a letter to the Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve late on Tuesday, the legislators had written that they apprehended threats as they had heard that “Karnataka leaders like Kumar Swamy and Shivakumar and others were going to storm the hotel premises” and pleaded for security.
“We feel threatened for the same. We do not want to meet him, kind request to help us in this matter and do not allow them to enter the hotel premises,” the letter said.
It was signed by Shivram Hebbar, Pratap Gowda Patil, B.C. Patil, Byrati Basavraj, S.T. Somshekar, Ramesh Jharkiholi, Gopalaiyya, H. Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda and Mahesh Kumutali. Copies of the letter were sent to the local Zone X DCP, Saki Naka Police Station and the hotel management.
Following this, the Mumbai Police blocked Shivakumar’s any and all bid to enter the hotel premises on Wednesday, even as he reasoned that he had a room booked inside. Soon after the hotel authorities cancelled his booking, citing an ’emergency’.
Camping outside, Shivakumar spoke to the media and accused the BJP of indulging in dirty politics and orchestrating this mess in the Karnataka power corridor.
While he maintained that, “Nothing is permanent in politics. There are no friends and no enemies. Anyone can turn at any moment. I’m trying to contact them (rebel MLAs). I’ll get a call. Their heart is beating to meet their friend.”
He reiterated later, “My friends are staying here. There has been a small problem, we’ve to hold negotiations. We can’t go for a divorce immediately. There is no question of threatening, we love and respect each other.” But as Shivakumar proclaimed his love for his party MLAs, news agency ANI spoke to some living in the hotel.
Another rebel Karnataka Congress leader, Ramesh Jarkiholi said, “We are not interested in meeting him (Karnataka Minister and Congress leader DK Shivakumar). No one from BJP is here to meet us.”
In midst of this, the Mumbai Police has now imposed Section 144 in the area around the hotel.
Notably, though the ruling BJP has denied any role in the Karnataka political developments, at least two leaders have been seen going in and out of both the Mumbai hotels, adding to the confusion.
With IANS inputs