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Karnataka turmoil: Congress suspends MLA JN Ganesh for 'hitting' colleague Anand Singh; FIR lodged

The incident that has given an embarrassing twist to the party’s bid to keep its flock together.

India TV Politics Desk India TV Politics Desk
Bengaluru Updated on: January 21, 2019 23:40 IST
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Congress MLA brawl: Photo of bruised Anand Singh surfaces, another legislator claims physical injury

The Congress party on Monday suspended MLA JN Ganesh for 'hitting' colleague Anand Singh during a brawl at a hotel at the outskirts of Bengaluru. An FIR has also been lodged in the matter. 

Ganesh was suspended from the party by VY Ghorpade, General Secretary KPCC on the directions of Dinesh Gundu Rao, the President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. A Special Committee has been constituted by Congress party under Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka G Parameshwara with State Ministers Krishna Byre Gowda & KJ George as members to investigate the clash issue between party members.

Resort politics backfires for Congress

The Congress party's attempts to 'safeguard' its MLA from alleged poaching by opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has cost it more than it bargained for. The resort politics, which has been the go-to card parties have played in both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the times of political turmoil, backfired for Congress this time. 

Over 70 MLAs lodged in a hotel at the city outskirts, forbidden any outisde contact, including their families, under constant survillence with added stress of media scrutiny, poaching scam, loyality tests - the result was the obvious - brimming tensions. 

While BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa promised he is backing off from the coalition government and would rather focus on tourisng the dorught hit districts with his party MLAs, Congress MLAs caused more trouble for their party - by skipping crucial meetings and getting into physical brawls. 

Congress MLA JN Ganesh allegedly hit his lawmaker colleague Anand Singh during an alleged brawl at a private resort.  While Anand Singh has been since hospitalised, Ganesh today told the press that he too was injured in the scuffle. The incident that has given an embarrassing twist to the party’s bid to keep its flock together.

A jittery Congress had shifted its legislators to the resort on Friday last, as it feared that the BJP might lure some of them in its alleged bid to destabilise the Congress-JDS coalition government in the state. 

Also read | Karnataka political turmoil: Relief for HD Kumaraswamy govt as 'missing' Congress MLAs return home

Singh, who suffered injuries in the scuffle, was admitted to a private hospital on Sunday. Both had come to blows, according to party sources.

Giving his side of the story to the press, Ganesh today said no “bottle attack” had taken place as projected in the media, while indicating that some kind of a brawl had taken place between him and Singh at Eagleton Resorts on the city outskirts late Saturday night.  

“Whatever media has created about (my) hitting (Singh) with bottle...14 to 20 stitches... are allcompletely false. The picture that surfaced on the internet today shows Singh with a swollen eye. 

"There were also reports about (me) having bitten our gun man. He is physically present here. This is also a lie,” Ganesh said.

Stating that Singh is like an elder brother to him, Ganesh said he and his family have respected Singh, whom they knew for the last 15-20 years.

“I have not done this to him purposefully. On someissue Bhima Naik (another Congress MLA) and Anand Singh (had differences), (I) tried to bring them together (compromise)...  but some wrong events happened.

If the events that happened there have pained him (Singh), I would apologise to his family. This did not happen intentionally. He was unwell and was hospitalised. Things have been created by the media,” headded.  Asked about Singh being injured, Ganesh said “nothing as you think...I also have (injuries) I cannot say...leave it, nothing as you are thinking.”

Questioned why he was blaming the media, Ganesh said, “who told you that I have hit (Singh) with a bottle? Media is showing that way, which is false.

“Our gunman is here; ask him, reports claimed I have bit him too,” he said.

Asked whether reports about him hitting Singh was false, Ganesh said “some incident” had taken place and he was not denying it.

“There was some argument.

Bheema Naik, Anand Singh andI were there...while trying to work out a compromise between Bhima Naik and Anand Singh, some things happened...there was an argument, leading to a situation,” he said.

“I did not hit him, he fell...,he fell automatically,” “ he added.

Asked whether Singh fell as he was drunk, he said, “I don’t know about it...I don’t want to commentwhether he had taken drinks.. But he fell. Other than that, nothing has happened.”

Ganesh said he was issuing the clarification as he did not not want to embarrass his partyand the high command.  “I along with my family wish to meet ‘Anand anna’(elder brother) andapologise to his family,” he added.  Ganesh is among the disgruntled Congress MLAs who was reportedly in touch with other dissidents in the party and was on the BJP’s radar in its alleged toppling game.  According to sources, he was furious with Singh for foiling his plans to join the BJP by leaking information to the Congress leadership.

Meanwhile, a medico legal register of the private hospital where Singh is undergoing treatment, in its report said “history of traumatic injury at around 1 AM on January 20 at Eagleton Resort, Bidadi, and sustained injury to head, face and left side chest pain.”

It also said “no history of loss of consciousness, seizure and vomiting” and added that there was complaints of headache and left side chest pain.

The report, which also cites “black eye, nasal blood clot, and tenderness over left lower chest”.  According to Congress sources, party legislatorscamped at the resort have started vacating it.

MLAs, unhappy over the developments, had been insisting that the party leadership free them from the resort, as they feared “bad publicity” at a time when the state is reeling under drought.

(With inputs from PTI)

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