Bengaluru: In an ugly turn to the ongoing political drama in Karnataka, a Congress MLA has been hospitalised after being allegedly injured during a brawl with a party lawmaker, who is reportedly under the BJP radar, at a resort on the city outskirts.
The incident occurred late Saturday night at the resort where the Congress MLAs are hunkered down since Friday in a move to keep the flock together against alleged bid to topple the ruling coalition by BJP, according to Congress sources.
Hospet MLA Anand Singh was admitted to a private hospital after he and Kampli legislator J N Ganesh, both from Ballari district, had a heated argument and came to blows, they said.
Singh had "a black eye and suffered blunt injuries," according to sources at the hospital where he is undergoing treatment.
He had also complained of uneasiness in the chest but was now in the ward and "fine", they added.
Ganesh is among the disgruntled Congress MLAs who was reportedly in touch with other dissidents in the party, planning to switch to the BJP.
"It was personal, district related. They are all together in the business. The scuffle has nothing to do with politics. They come from the same district and have business relations. It (the fight) is something related to that. It has nothing to do with politics," said Congress spokesperson and former Nizamabad MP Madhu Goud Yakshi.
The two MLAs had dinner together in his presence and everything was cordial but after he left the place the fight broke out, Yakshi told PTI.
When contacted, the Bidadi police under whose jurisdiction the resort is located, said they have not received any complaint as of now.
A posse of policemen have been deployed in front of the hospital with no visitor being allowed.
"We have not been allowed inside the hospital," Raghunath, a Congress MLA, said.
In a dig at the Congress, BJP tweeted, "It's unfortunate that @KPCCPresident was unable to stop the fight in Eagleton resort. We hope Anand Singh is being treated & we pray for his speedy recovery.
"Unfortunately @dineshgrao can't even blame BJP now, MLA's were locked up under his watch at Eagleton. Whats ur excuse now?" it said.
Senior minister D K Shivakumar, however, brushed aside reports that Singh had been assaulted and claimed all the Congress MLAs were united.
"Someone has misled. There was no fracas. There was no incident of smashing of bottle (on Singh's head). It is all fake news. Everyone is together. The entire Congress is united," he said.
Congress Lok Sabha member and brother of Shivakumar, D K Suresh said Singh was undergoing treatment for stomach ache and denied any assault had happened.
State senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister R Ashok asked the Congress to produce Singh before the media and said police should initiate legal action in the case.
"Why is it that the Police have not taken any action in this incident?. I demand that the Congress should produce Singh before the media. I suspect that the Congress is making efforts to cover up the case," he alleged.
A day after chinks in the ruling coalition was exposed with four MLAs skipping the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meet, the Congress Friday swiftly moved all its MLAs to the resort keeping them on leash to "escape" the BJP's alleged "onslaught" to woo its MLAs with money and other allurements.
Former chief minister and BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa, however, Saturday said his party would not destabilise the JDS-Congress government.