Karnataka Mass Resignations: Congress leaders Milind Deora, DK Shivakumar detained in Mumbai

Mumbai: Mumbai Congress leader Milind Deora and Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar have been detained by the police. Shivakumar was denied entry into the Renaissance – Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel — where 10 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs are staying. He was detained by the Mumbai Police after Section 144 was imposed in the area.

Deora tweeted this image saying he requested the Karnataka MLAs staying in the Renaissance hotel to return to Karnataka and work things out constitutionally.

Police have imposed Section 144, prohibiting the assembly of more than four people, in Powai area where the rebel legislators of Congress and JDS are lodged at a hotel.

Authorities imposed the restriction in Powai Police station limits till July 12 due to “likelihood of breach of peace and disturbance of public tranquillity”.

Earlier today, slogans were raised against Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar by angry supporters of 10 dissident Congress-JD(S) MLAs outside the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel in the area.

Congress troubleshooter DK Shivakumar on Wednesday waited in the rain outside the five-star hotel to meet a group of rebel MLAs from Karnataka, who have said there was a threat to their lives. He seemed undeterred as the rebel leaders’ supporters shouted slogans of “go back” and the hotel cancelled his booking.

‘I’ll not go without meeting my friends’

“I’ll not go without meeting my friends … They’ll call me. Their heart will break. I’m in touch with them already, hearts of both of us are beating,” he said.

“They should be proud of a customer like me. I love Mumbai. I love this hotel. Let them cancel. I have other rooms also,” he said on the cancellation of his booking.

Personnel of the Maharashtra State Reserve Police Force and Riot Control Police threw a security ring outside the Powai hotel as supporters of JD(S) leader Narayan Gowda also hung around.
Congress leader B Basavaraj, holed up inside the hotel, said he and his colleagues don’t intend to insult DK Shivakumar.

“We’ve faith in him but there is a reason we have taken this step. Friendship, love, and affection are on one side. With gratitude and respect we request him to understand why we cannot meet him today,” he was quoted as saying.

Another Congress leader Ramesh Jarkiholi went a step further and said, “We are not interested in meeting him. No one from BJP is here to meet us.”

DK Shivakumar’s visit comes a day after Karnataka’s wobbly coalition government received a breather after assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar rejected the resignations of eight lawmakers and asked five others to meet and convince him that their letters offering to demit membership of the House were indeed genuine.

Kumar’s decisions came as top Congress and Janata Dal (Secular), or JD(S), leaders scrambled to win back rebels whose withdrawal has endangered the alliance’s thin majority in the Karnataka assembly.

Kumar, who returned to Bengaluru on Tuesday after an outstation trip, said eight of the 13 MLAs who resigned last week did not submit their letters in the prescribed format and would have to personally furnish fresh resignation letters.

Karnataka Political Crisis

The strength of Karnataka’s 224-member assembly will be reduced to 211 if their resignations are accepted. A party or a coalition would need 106 seats to form a government in such a scenario.

The Congress-JD (S) coalition will be left with 104 members while the BJP will have the support of 105. The BJP is also likely to get the backing of two independents.