Congress MLA JN Ganesh, who was suspended from the party on Monday for allegedly assaulting fellow legislator Anand Singh at a resort, claimed on Thursday that it was Singh who attacked him first. Ganesh also alleged in a Facebook post that Singh made derogatory comments about his caste and family.

The Congress had moved its legislators to Eagleton resort near Bengaluru last week amid fears of horse trading by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“I had no intention to hit Anand Singh who spoke ill about my caste,” Ganesh claimed. “If I had to do that I could have done it when I was with him in the room for two to three hours. There was no such intention.”

Ganesh claimed that three other legislators witnessed the incident. “The party leaders said there was a mistake on both our parts and both of us have embarrassed the party. They called doctors for giving me first aid,” he added.

Singh was taken to hospital with a head injury on Sunday following the incident. The Congress has denied reports that the two had a fight. One legislator, DK Suresh, claimed that Singh was hospitalised after he experienced chest pain. The Karnataka Police have registered an attempt to murder case against Ganesh.

“I did not hit him, he fell...he fell automatically,” Ganesh said on Monday, adding that he apologised to Singh and his family for the incident and would like to meet the Congress legislator in the hospital. Meanwhile, Singh’s medical report said he had sustained injury to head and face, with a black eye and nasal blood clot. The report said he had tenderness on the left lower chest.

Rebel MLAs pledge loyalty to Congress

Meanwhile, two rebel Congress legislators, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli, who had been untraceable since last week and had not attended the legislature party meet, wrote to former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday, pledging their loyalty to the party, the Hindustan Times reported.

The two legislators, along with two others, B Nagendra and Umesh Jadhav, were sent notices after they missed the legislature party meeting.

“I will always be loyal to the party and there is no question of me switching over to any other party,” Jarkiholi wrote in his letter. Kumathahalli also said that he continues to be a “loyal” member of the Congress.

Nagendra had responded soon after he was issued a notice, an unidentified close aide of Siddaramaiah told the daily. Only Jadhav has not replied yet. However, none of the rebel MLAs have established contact with the party leadership.