MLA ‘hit with a liquor bottle’ in Congress bash

Bengaluru: Congress MLA Anand Singh from Vijayanagara was hospitalised on Sunday morning after an alleged brawl with party colleague Kampi MLA JN Ganesh at Bengaluru’s Eagleton Resort, where the party’s lawmakers are holed up. Ganesh allegedly hit Singh on his head with a liquor bottle amid a heated argument, Congress sources said. The two MLAs reportedly had a heated argument over Ganesh trying to defect to the BJP. Soon it got physical and a liquor bottle was smashed on Singh’s head.

However, senior Congress leaders were quick to deny the reports. DK Suresh, who visited the hospital to meet the MLA, said Singh was admitted due to chest pain. “I don’t know about the fight. Anand Singh is admitted in hospital due to chest pain. There are no injuries or anything. His parents are here at the hospital. Other issues are just speculation,” Suresh said.

Speaking to the media, Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar rubbished reports that the two MLAs were involved in a brawl. “It is all fake news. There was no fight, no assault, no liquor bottles; both the MLAs will speak to the media soon,” Shivakumar said, but could not present them.

Karnataka deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara was either blissfully unaware of what had happened or feigned ignorance. “When one of our colleagues isn’t well, if it’s true, naturally somebody would’ve gone to see him. I don’t know who the person is,” he said.

One party leader attributed it to a friendly fight. “Anand Singh was taken to hospital after there was a friendly fight between a few MLAs at the resort. Everything is all right and Anand is taking rest at the hospital,” state’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan told the media.

The BJP made most of the brawl and said it was proof of infighting within the Congress. “What more proof do we need to tell all is not well within the Congress. Congress MLAs in Eagleton resort indulged in a physical fight and one MLA is hospitalised. How long will the Congress be in denial mode and blame the BJP for all their differences? When a political party is lame, it loves to blame,” BJP Karnataka tweeted.

The BJP also demanded that the Congress suspend the MLA responsible for the attack on Anand Singh and “uphold constitutional values”. The Congress party, meanwhile, has issued notices to its four MLAs seeking explanation for their absence at the Legislature Party meeting, asking why no action should be taken against them under the anti-defection law. Exposing fissures in the party, the four lawmakers had skipped the CLP meet on Friday.

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