BHOPAL: Alleging assault on one of its Madhya Pradesh cabinet ministers by cops in Bengaluru and subsequent detention of two ministers, when they tried to free one of the rebel MLAs, the ruling Congress said on Thursday it was planning to move the Supreme Court in the entire episode.
In a hurriedly convened press conference at the state Congress HQ in Bhopal, Supreme Court advocate and Congress Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha alleged that the Congress MLAs were kept in captivity which was being aided by the BJP leaders and Bengaluru police personnel there.
“A shocking incident has happened just a short while from now in the Karnataka capital, which proves that democracy is under attack. One of our ministers, the higher education and sports minister Jeetu Patwari who went to meet one of our MLAs, Manoj Chaudhary, with his father was assaulted by Bengaluru police personnel. The information that we’ve is that two of our ministers Jeetu Patwari and Lakhan Yadav along with MLA Manoj Chaudhary’s father Narayan Chaudhary have been taken into custody by Bengaluru police,” alleged Tankha.
#WATCH Karnataka: Scuffle broke out between Congress leader Jitu Patwari and a police personnel, while Patwari was trying to meet the Madhya Pradesh rebel MLAs at Embassy Boulevard in Bengaluru. pic.twitter.com/OJrGbGD663— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2020
“Since our minister Jeetu Patwari is a close relative of the Congress MLA Manoj Chaudhary, who is among those legislators held captive in Bengaluru, so he went to meet Chaudhary with the MLA’s father Narayan Chaduary in Karnataka capital. Our MLA Manoj Chaudhary wanted to return to us with his father and our ministers, but the Bengaluru cops assaulted our minister Jeetu Patwari there. As per the information, I presently have with me, both our ministers, Jeetu Patwari and Lakhan Singh Yadav and the concerned MLA’s father have been taken into custody,” alleged Tankha.
“If the police doesn’t release them and no action is taken against erring cops, we’ll have to move the court. This incident has proved that democracy is under threat. Since the incident has happened in Bengaluru, thus making the matter a national issue involving two states. Hence we’re now planning to move the Supreme Court in the entire episode. I’ll talk to our senior leader and Supreme Court advocate Kapil Sibal in the matter and subsequently, make a final decision about petitioning the SC.”
According to Tankha, “Since what happened in Bengaluru on Friday exposes that our MLAs have been held captive there, we’ll submit before the apex court that democracy is under threat and demand impartial probe and action in the entire matter.”
Tankha and other Congress leaders, including ex-CM Digvijaya Singh, also showed video clippings of the alleged assault on MP minister Jeetu Patwari by a Bengaluru cop.
Responding to Tankha, state BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said the allegation pertain to Bengaluru and Karnataka state police, so any response in the matter should come from Karnataka police only.
Notably, the 20 rebel Congress MLAs, who are holed up at a resort in Bengaluru, have been given police security there following their written request made to the Karnataka DGP recently.
The sudden development of Congress leaders addressing a press conference happened just a short while before ex-union minister and now a BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia arrived in Bhopal.