Karnataka political crisis: Congress protests outside Mumbai hotel where MLAs are lodged

MUMBAI: Mumbai Congress leaders Sunday staged a protest outside a hotel here, where 10 dissident MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) combine from Karnataka are lodged, accusing the BJP of luring away legislators of other parties.

The MLAs reached Mumbai on Saturday night in a chartered flight after submitting their resignations to the Karnataka Assembly speaker, sources close to them said.

Senior Congress leaders Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan, Eknath Gaikwad and Bhai Jagtap led the protest held in the evening.

The protesters included members of the Youth Congress and the National Students’ Union of India. Khan said the Congress held the protest as police prevented its members from entering the hotel.

“Congress and JD(S) MLAs have been brought to Mumbai. We wanted to meet them and ask if they have come willingly or have been brought forcibly,” he said.

“Police are allowing BJP leaders from Maharashtra to meet these Karnataka MLAs, but preventing us from getting in touch with them,” he alleged. Khan accused police of acting at the behest of the BJP. He said the BJP is “misusing” its power to “lure” opposition MLAs and overthrow the governments led by the opposition parties.

The JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka plunged into a crisis on Saturday, with 13 MLAs of the alliance submitting their resignations to the speaker.