Karnataka Congress MLA B S Anand Singh has been “abducted” by a “central minister”, senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad claimed on Friday. While alleging that the Government of India was using the Enforcement Directorate as means to threaten party MLAs, he said, “I know which minister had called him (Singh) and later abducted him.”
Azad, who was addressing reporters on the Supreme Court’s order of holding a floor test in the Karnataka Assembly on Saturday, also expressed confidence that the Congress legislator would vote for the party once he was freed.
Singh did not show up to the legislative party meeting held in Bengaluru on Thursday, triggering speculations that he may rejoin the BJP in the event of the Karnataka assembly election results throwing up a hung house. While Congress MP D K Suresh had alleged that Anand Singh was “in clutches of Narendra Modi”, JD(S) chief H D Kumaraswamy accused the Narendra Modi-led government of “threatening” the MLAs. Congress leader Veerappa Moily had, however, said Anand Singh was “safe”. LIVE UPDATES
Anand Singh, former Karnataka Minister and two-time MLA from Vijayanagar in Ballari, quit BJP in January 2018 to join Congress ahead of the Assembly elections this year. He left the BJP saying there was “constant squabbling and bickering” in the party. Then Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had said Singh left BJP and joined the Congress as there was “no place for secular principles there”.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, a bench of Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan said the protem speaker should be appointed for the floor test be held on Saturday at 4 pm. The court also asked the DGP to ensure law and order and restrained CM Yeddyurappa from taking any major policy decisions till he proves majority. It also directed that no Anglo-Indian MLA be nominated till then.
While the Congress and the JD(S) welcomed the SC order, Yeddyurappa’s counsel urged the bench to reconsider saying it was too soon. Attorney General KK Venugopal asked the bench if it would consider secret ballots, but the bench rejected the suggestion.