Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh was taken into preventive custody on Wednesday (March 18) while sitting on a dharna outside a hotel where the rebel Congress MLAs are staying in Bengaluru.
An NDTV report said that police personnel had to literally drag the Congress leader from the place when he showed resistance.
He was later taken to Amruthahalli police station.
Singh, who reached Bengaluru on Wednesday morning sat on a dharna outside Ramada hotel, after he allegedly was not allowed to meet the rebel MLAs. According to reports, he said, he will go on a hunger strike until the police allow him to meet the legislators.
#WATCH Karnataka: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has now been placed under preventive arrest. He was sitting on dharna near Ramada hotel in Bengaluru, allegedly after he was not allowed by Police to visit it. 21 #MadhyaPradesh Congress MLAs are lodged at the hotel. pic.twitter.com/dP3me4qjw0
— ANI (@ANI) March 18, 2020
Claiming that the MLAs are being held captive, Singh said, “We were expecting them to come back, but when we saw they’re being held back, messages came from their families. I personally spoke to five MLAs. They said they’re captive and that their phones have been snatched away. There is police in front of every room. They’re being followed 24/7.”
“BJP MLA Arvind Bhadoriya and an MP are holding them captive. Why cant I meet my MLAs, my voters (for Rajya Sabha election), my own party people. What is the BJP doing in between?” he questioned.
The senior leader who landed in Bengaluru early morning was received at the airport by the newly-appointed chief of Karnataka state Congress, DK Shivakumar.
In a video released by the Congress, Singh is seen saying, “Im an ex-chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, who is a Rajya Sabha election candidate. The voting is on March 26. Twenty-two MLAs are staying here and they want to talk to me. But their phones have been taken away and the police are not allowing us to talk to them.” “The police are saying that the MLAs have a security threat. I have told them (police) that I’m a Gandhian and I don’t have a bomb or any rifle, allow them to meet us and I will go back.”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Wednesday, a petition filed by former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and nine other MLAs, seeking a direction to the Kamal Nath government to conduct a floor test.
The 22 rebel Congress MLAs held a press conference on Tuesday and claimed that 20 more party MLAs want to join them and they were thinking of crossing over to the BJP in the days to come. In a massive setback for the Congress, its prominent youth leader Jyotiradtya Scindia quit the party and in a coordinated rebellion last week 22 MLAs loyal to him resigned in Madhya Pradesh, pushing the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government to the brink of collapse. Scindia joined the BJP on March 11.
(With inputs from agencies)