Veteran Congress leader Digvijay Singh was dragged from a five-star hotel before being taken into preventive custody on Wednesday. This was after Singh arrived at the hotel to meet 22 rebel Congress MLAs from Madhya Pradesh, currently staying at a hotel in Bengaluru. Singh was later released from custody.
Singh later told reporters that he didn’t know why he was arrested adding that he was a law-abiding citizen and had not broken any laws. He said, “We will save the government and bring our MLAs back. This is criminal. They are unnecessarily detaining them against their wishes.”
Known Congress troubleshooter DK Shivakumar too accompanied him to the hotel. Speaking to reporters, Shivakumar said, “One MLA has requested that ‘you come and free us.’ He’s telephoned through some of the employees of the hotel…These people are acting at the instructions of the chief minister here.”
Madhya Pradesh’s Kamal Nath government is facing a crisis after 22 Congress MLAs left for Bengaluru before sending their resignations. The Congress has accused the BJP of kidnapping its legislators and shifting them to a BJP-ruled state.
The matter came for hearing in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The BJP had approached the top court seeking its intervention for an immediate floor-test in the Madhya Pradesh assembly. The Madhya Pradesh Speaker had adjourned the assembly proceedings till 26 March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The crisis in the Congress party started after its known face, Jyotiraditya Scindia, defected to the BJP. Rebel MLAs currently staying in Bengaluru are believed to be his supporters.
Kamal Nath has the support of 120 MLAs including 114 from his own party. He needs the support of 116 for an absolute majority in the Madhya Pradesh assembly. If 22 MLAs decide to not return to the party, then the Congress will lose another state after Karnataka.