Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was detained by the police in Bengaluru on Tuesday after he sat on a dharna outside Ramada hotel where 21 Madhya Pradesh Congress MLAs are said to be lodged. Singh sought to meet the MLAs ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, for which he is a candidate, and amid the ongoing political crisis in MP. The Kamal Nath government is on edge after a rebel faction broke out from the party, led by Jyotiraditya Scindia.
"I'm a Rajya Sabha candidate from Madhya Pradesh and voting is scheduled for 26 March. My MLAs have been kept here, they want to speak to me, their phones have been snatched, the police are not letting me speak to them saying there is a security threat to MLAs. I am not carrying any weapon with me, then how come I harm anyone," Digvijaya Singh told reporters.
#WATCH Karnataka: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh continues to sit on dharna near Ramada hotel in Bengaluru, allegedly after he was not allowed by Police to visit it, as Police tries to remove him from the spot. 21 #MadhyaPradesh Congress MLAs are lodged at the hotel. pic.twitter.com/CtWuP1rvKH— ANI (@ANI) March 18, 2020
Digvijaya Singh took to Twitter to lash out at Karnataka's BJP government saying that the party wants to keep the Congress MLAs "under lock and key" and that they "have abducted democracy". "MLAs are not individual citizens, they represent lakhs of their constituents. If they have any problem, the constitutional provision is to meet Speaker or express on the Floor of the Assembly or through authorised Party leaders. Any other method is abduction of democracy," he said in another tweet.
BJP’s model of democracy:— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) March 18, 2020
MLAs can’t speak to CM
MLAs can’t speak to their family members
MLAs can’t speak to Speaker
MLAs can’t speak to party leaders.
MLAs will only speak under controlled circumstances & glare of goons posted by opposition.
This is being called democracy!
The former MP CM arrived in the city, early morning and was received by Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar. After Digvijaya's arrest, Shivakumar lashed out at the BJP government in Karnataka. "We have our own political strategy, we know how to handle the situation. He's (Digvijaya) not alone here. I'm here. I know how to support him. But I don't want to create a law and order situation in Karnataka."
Jyotiraditya Scindia’s sudden resignation from the Congress party on March 10 was followed by 22 Madhya Pradesh Congress MLAs putting in their papers. Even as Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati has accepted the resignation of 6 MLAs, Congress is making all possible attempts to woo back some of the dissident MLAs as the stability of its government is in serious threat. On March 11, Scindia officially joined BJP in the presence of party president JP Nadda and was nominated as the party's Rajya Sabha candidate.