Karnataka Congress MLA Anand Singh was taken to hospital on Friday evening after an alleged brawl with another party MLA JN Ganesh. Ganesh allegedly hit Singh on the head with a bottle at Bengaluru’s Eagleton resort, NDTV reported quoting local media.
The Congress had moved its legislators to the resort due to fears of horse-trading by the Bharatiya Janata Party. The party, which rules the state with the Janata Dal (Secular), had made the decision after four of its 80 legislators did not attend a legislature party meeting on Friday.
The Congress denied that any such fight between Singh and Ganesh took place, but many of its leaders visited Apollo Hospital on Sunday morning. Legislator DK Suresh claimed that Singh was admitted to hospital after he experienced chest pain.
Singh represents Vijayanagara in the Karnataka Assembly, and had moved from the BJP to the Congress before state elections last year. Ganesh represents the Kampi constituency.
Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara initially claimed that MLAs visited the hospital simply because he was unwell. “When one of our colleagues isn’t well, if it’s true, naturally somebody would’ve gone to see him,” he said. “I don’t know who the person is. I’m just responding to your questions.”
However, he later said he had learnt about the brawl only through the media. “I’ve seen that only through media,” he told reporters, according to ANI. “I was there [at the resort] till 8 pm yesterday. I don’t know what has happened but I will let you know.”
Congress spokesperson Madhu Goud Yaskhi claimed that the fight was over personal matters, PTI reported. “It was personal, district related,” he said. “They are all together in a business. The scuffle has nothing to do with politics. They come from the same district and have business relations.”
Backward Classes Welfare Minster C Puttarangashetty, who was also at the resort, told the Hindustan Times that Singh and Ganesh had a heated argument even during a second legislature party meeting on Saturday. “They were at it in the meeting and it appeared to have carried on into the night,” he said. “I could hear raised voices near my room, but I cannot say for certain that there was physical violence.”
BJP claims ‘all is not well’ in Congress
The BJP claimed the alleged brawl was proof that not all was well in the Karnataka Congress. “How long will Congress be in denial mode and blame BJP for all their differences?” the saffron party tweeted. “When [a] political party is lame, it loves to blame.”
The party blamed Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief Dinesh Gundu Rao for being unable to stop the fight at the resort, and wished Singh a “speedy recovery”. Later, the BJP also claimed that Congress legislators fear for their life under Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s government. It demanded that the Congress suspend Ganesh for attacking Singh.
BJP MLA R Ashok alleged that Congress legislator DK Shivakumar, who had denied reports of the brawl, and DK Suresh were both lying. “Doctors of Apollo Hospital should come out and give clarification about whether Anand Singh is admitted for chest pain treatment or for something else,” he said, according to ANI.