The Congress today said its MLAs who sent in their resignation from Bengaluru, bringing the Madhya Pradesh government to the brink of collapse, are being held hostage by the BJP. The party threatened to go to the Supreme Court if they were not released. The Congress has also alleged that two of its state ministers were assaulted by the police and subsequently detained when they had gone to meet one of the rebel MLAs.
At a press conference this evening, the Congress produced a video of an MLA pushing and shouting at a policeman, claiming it was evidence that the legislators were being confined to the resort by force.
"Higher education and sports minister Jeetu Patwari, who went to meet one of our MLAs, Manoj Chaudhary, with the MLA's father was assaulted by Bengaluru police personnel," said Congress Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha. "The information that we have is that ministers Jeetu Patwari and Lakhan Yadav, along with MLA Manoj Chaudhary's father Narayan Chaudhary, have been taken into custody by Bengaluru police," he alleged.
Jeetu Patwari is a close relative of the Manoj Chaudhary, who is among those legislators currently in Bengaluru.
The rebel Congress MLAs, who are at the Bengaluru resort, have been given police security following their written request to the state police chief.
On Monday, 17 MLAs, loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia, were flown into Bengaluru by a chartered flight. A day later, 22 MLAs sent in their letters of resignation. Mr Scindia, who exited the Congress as the country celebrated Holi, joined the BJP yesterday.
The Congress has claimed that the whole issue was a BJP conspiracy to topple the government. The party also said its MLAs were tricked or bribed into going to Bengaluru, and they are now ready to return to the party fold.
There were reports that the MLAs, who were loyal to Mr Scindia, had stopped short at the possibility of his joining the BJP. Reports suggested that many of them have reservations about following him across the political divide.Senior state leader and former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh has said that 13 of the 22 rebels were not ready to quit the Congress.
The Congress today told reporters that the matter has become a national issue. "MP, MLAs have been abducted, pressurised and their relatives beaten… what the BJP is doing is a criminal act and we will go to the Supreme Court".
"A peace loving state like Madhya Pradesh that never had horse trading culture our MLAs never got involved in this. But now there are in a hostage like situation," the party said.