A large group of MLAs belonging to the Congress and JD(s) reached Hyderabad in three buses on Friday morning amid fears of poaching by the BJP in an attempt to cobble up its numbers, especially in light of the Supreme Court ordering the floor test to be held at 4pm on Saturday where the Yeddurappa government will have to prove it majority on the floor of the House.
The MLAs were put up at a five-star hotel at Banjara Hills. Local police arranged elaborate security arrangements at the hotel. Rooms were also booked at a resort in Gandipet.
The MLAs arrived in three buses of SRS Travels and Orange Travels.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao who has been supporting a third front formation has been in touch with JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy.
Sources said adequate security was ensured to the MLAs to avoid any poaching attempt by the BJP.
KCR has been vocal in his criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Interestingly, Congress is the key opposition for the TRS in Telangana.
No Relaxing For Tense Lawmakers
With dramatic developments unfolding in Karnataka after the state threw up a fractured mandate, there’s has been no time to relax for Congress and JD(S) MLAs, who soon after the results had to travel to Bengaluru to be present at the CLP meeting next day, and the same evening were shifted to a resort and a hotel respectively in Karnataka with allegations of horsetrading doing the rounds.
The Congress MLAs were lodged in Eagleton Resort in Bidadi, 30 km from Bengaluru while the JD(S) were put up in Hotel Shangrila late on Wednesday evening. Even as some of them chose to catch up on lost sleep, the drama of the midnight petition filed by the Congress challenging governor Vajubhai R Vala inviting B S Yeddyurappa to take oath as CM kept them awake.
“If my party is taking us out of Bengaluru, the time I will be spending there will be mine,’’ said a Congress MLA from North Karnataka.
The mood inside Eagleton Resort and Shangrila remained tense throughout Thursday. The resort was in the news in 2017 when Gujarat Congress MLAs camped there as Congress feared defection of their members ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections. With fears of intense horse trading and poaching post a fractured mandate in Karnataka, the Congress and JD(S) leaders decided to keep its flock together at these luxury inns.
Congress master strategist D K Shivakumar’s brother and Bengaluru Rural MP D K Suresh who played host to the Gujarat MLAs were at the job again. On Thursday morning the MLAs were ferried in separate buses from the resort and hotel to Vidhana Soudha to stage a dharna near Mahtma Gandhi statue to protest against the misuse of governor’s office and allowing Yeddyurappa to take oath.
A senior MLA at the Eaglelton Resort said though the MLAs looked relaxed to be at the resort in the morning, they got circumspect after Congress MLA Rajashekar Patil Humnabad left the resort citing health reasons. “Patil was talking normally and looked happy to be here. Nobody knows why he left like that suddenly citing severe stomach ache and fever. Initially he was not allowed to go but senior leaders intervened and let him go after taking a promise that he would return,” another Congress MLA said.
There was more discomfort after new chief minister B S Yeddyurappa withdrew police security offered to the MLAs staying in the resort. “Though the party quickly arranged security through a private agency, there was a palpable sense of insecurity among some MLAs here,’’ resort sources said.
In a veiled threat to the newly elected Congress MLAs who are likely to crossover to BJP, Shivakumar on Thursday night said: “If that were to happen Congress party workers in their respective constituencies will revolt against them. Congress activists have slogged to ensure victory and the newly elected Congress MLAs cannot afford to quit the party now.”