Congress troubleshooter D K Shivakumar Wednesday morning was stopped at the gates of the Mumbai resort where the 10 rebel MLAs are staying after the rebels requested police protection because they feel “threatened.” Shivakumar was accompanied by JD(S) MLA Shivalinge Gowda. Shivakumar who insisted that he has “booked” a room in the hotel was stopped outside by the Mumbai Police.
Shivakumar said he will not leave without meeting the MLAs. Amid the chants of “Shivakumar go back,” the Congress leader said, “I only have a heart that I have come to extend to my friends…politics is an art of possibility,” he said.
“I’ve booked a room here. My friends are staying here. There has been a small problem, we’ve to hold negotiations. We can’t go for a divorce immediately. There is no question of threatening, we love and respect each other,” he told reporters outside the hotel.
Late Tuesday night, the 10 rebel MLAs camping in Mumbai since Saturday approached the police seeking security as they feared that Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and D K Shivakumar will “storm” into the premises and threaten them when they reach Mumbai.
In a letter addressed to the Mumbai Police Commissioner, the 10 MLAs have said that they don’t want to meet their state leaders who are on their way to Mumbai. “Kind request to help us in this matter and do not allow them to enter the hotel premises,” the letter read. Tight security cover — State Reserve Police and Riot Control Units — has been deployed around the hotel after the lawmakers’ letter.
Undeterred by the tight security, Shivakumar early this morning said they have come to meet their “friends and party men.” “Let Mumbai Police or any other force be deployed. Let them do their duty. We’ve come to meet our friends. We were born together in politics, we will die together in politics. They are our party men. We have come to meet them,” he told news agency ANI.
The signatories of the letter are Shivram Hebbar, Pratap Gowda Patil, B C Patil, Byrati Basavraj, S T Somshekar, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Gopalaiyya, H Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda and Mahesh Kumutali. The copies of the letter have been marked to Zone 10 deputy commissioner of police, senior inspector of Powai police station and the management of the hotel they are staying in.
Heavy police bandobast deployed outside Renaissance Hotel in Powai after 10 rebel Karnataka MLAs wrote to Mumbai Police Commissioner stating they heard CM HD Kumarswamy & Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar are going to storm in hotel & they feel “threatened”. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/xRONJF1hwF
— Vishwas Waghmode (@vishwas_01) July 10, 2019
Meanwhile, in a breather to the Congress-JDS alliance, Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar Tuesday rejected the resignations of nine of 14 coalition MLAs on the ground that they were not tendered in the correct format. The Speaker’s decision gives the Congress-JD(S) combine breathing room to pull the government back from the brink of collapse.
Since Saturday, Karnataka has been thrown into a political crisis with 14 MLAs resigning from their positions. If the resignations were accepted by the Speaker, the alliance would have been reduced to a minority of 103 in the 224-member House, after two Independent MLAs, too, withdrew support and tendered resignations Monday.