Congress in parleys with rebel legislators

Mumbai: The rebel Congress MLAs were brought to Sofitel Hotel in Mumbai. Post that, the Karnataka Congress leader and member of legislative council, Mari Thibbe Gowda had a meeting with the rebel Congress leader, Ramesh Jarakiholi on Sunday. This is being contemplated as the first step in terms of direct negotiation with the rebel Congress and JD(S) leaders. Jarakiholi and seven other rebel Congress legislators, along with three rebel Janata Dal (secular) MLAs are staying at the Sofitel hotel since Saturday night.

Reportedly, the 10 members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of Karnataka landed in Mumbai on Saturday night in a chartered flight, after submitting their resignations to the Karnatanka Assembly speaker. Talking to reporters, Mari Thibbe Gowda said that he met only Jarakiholi and urged him to take decision which will be in the best interest of Karnataka. It goes without saying that he tried to convince him to take back his resignations as he is one of the best friends of Jarakiholi. According to him, he met only Jarakiholi and not the other rebel Congress MLAs staying in the hotel.

Mumbai Cong protest

On Sunday, Mumbai Congress leaders 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.

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 that Congress held this protest as police prevented their 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 the 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.

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