Rebel Karnataka MLAs feel threatened twice in 5 days

Mumbai: A group of 14 rebel Karnataka legislators lodged in a Mumbai deluxe hotel on Monday once again complained of “threats” from top Congress leaders. This is the second such development in five days.

In a letter to the Senior Inspector (Head) of Powai Police Station, the 14 — who described themselves as “Respected Members of Karnataka Assembly” — have also said that they had no intention of meeting Congress’ leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge or Ghulam Nabi Azad or any other Congressman from either Maharashtra or Karnataka.

They urged the police to prevent these leaders from approaching them as they “anticipate” serious threats from them at the Hotel Renaissance, where they are staying.

They have sent copies of their plea to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 10 and the security and management of the hotel.

However, the latest letter bears no date or acknowledgement stamp from the concerned police station. Although it mentions the names of all legislators present, but at least four have not signed it.

The signatories on the letter include: Shivram Hebbar, B.C. Patil, Muniratnam, R. Shankar, H. Nagesh, Pratap Patil, Gopalaiah, Ramesh J., Somshekar and Basavaraja.

The four MLAs whose signatures are missing against their names are: Mahesh K., Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda and M.T.B. Nagraj.

On July 9, a group of around a dozen rebel lawmakers had written a similar letter to the Mumbai Police refusing to meet Karnataka Minister and senior Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar and others, who arrived here to resolve the ongoing political crises in that state last Wednesday.

After a day of high drama Shivakumar, his ministerial colleague, two legislators and Maharashtra Congress’ Naseem Khan, Milind Deora and others were detained for several hours.

The matter also reverberated in a big way in Parliament with heated exchanges between the Opposition and the government on that day.

Later that night, Shivakumar and the Karnataka leaders were ‘deported’ to Bengaluru and the police have since clamped prohibitory orders in the hotel’s vicinity in suburban Powai.