The Congress in Karnataka found itself in an embarrassing position after two of its MLAs got into a fight at the resort where the party has herded them to keep them from being poached by the BJP. The brawl took place in the early hours of Sunday and Hosapete MLA Anand Singh had to be taken to hospital.
The party, meanwhile, issued show cause notices to four of its legislators asking them to explain as to why they did not attend the party’s specially convened meeting on Friday. The legislators’ conference, which was attended by all but four of the MLAs, was called to put up a show of strength as the BJP was trying to destabilise the seven month old government run by the JDS-Congress combine. The fight at the Eagleton resort in Bengaluru involved Anand Singh and another MLA from Ballari district, JN Ganesh.
That the outcome was serious could be gauged from the fact that Anand Singh had to be admitted to a private hospital, where he remained till the time of writing.
While Congress leaders continued to deny reports of a fight between the two legislators all day, one of its ministers, Zameer Ahmed, admitted in the evening that all was not well. He, however, told newsmen that it was a minor fight between friends and nothing much should be read into it.
None of the Congress leaders, however, could explain why Anand Singh continued to be in hospital if he was not injured. Speculation was rife that he had been hit on the head with a bottle, and was seen sporting a black eye.
On Sunday morning, senior Congress leader D K Shivkumar had insisted that Singh had gone to attend a wedding. His brother and MP D K Suresh came up with a different version later in the day. According to him, Anand Singh had complained of chest pain in the morning for which he had been admitted to hospital for a check-up. Anand’s wife, Lakshmi, expressed concern over the developments, saying she had no idea about her husband’s condition as she could not reach him.
Singh, it is learnt, is being treated at Apollo Hospital in Seshadripuram. According to a report in Times of India said the MLA was brought to the hospital arount 7 am on Sunday with injuries on his head and face. He was also said to have chest discomfort. “He has undergone a CT scan and no serious condition is noticed. Since he has suffered a head injury we have kept him under observation,” said the report quoting Dr G Yateesh, additional director, Karnataka region, Apollo Hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Congress sent the notices seeking explanation for their absence at Friday’s meeting to Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav, and Mahesh. While their absence did not prove serious for the party, it did cause acute embarrassment.