Bengaluru: The 19 rebel Madhya Pradesh Congress MLAs were locked down at a new resort in the city's northern suburb under heavy security after they could not leave for Bhopal ahead of the Assembly session on Monday, according to a party leader on Sunday.
"The MLAs were not allowed to leave the resort to board a chartered flight to Bhopal from the city airport till night. They are staying at Ramada resort to which they were shifted on Saturday night after staying five days at another resort (Prestige Golfshire in the city's northern outskirts)," the leader told IANS here.
The legislators, including six sacked ministers, wanted to return to Bhopal to attend the Budget session beginning on Monday, as their resignations were not accepted by Assembly Speaker Narmada Prasad Prajapati.
Though the Speaker summoned the rebels to meet him in Bhopal on March 13 to ascertain if they resigned voluntarily or under pressure, they could not leave Bengaluru as their chartered flight was suddenly cancelled for unknown reason.
"Our party legislators are held captive by the BJP's Karnataka unit leaders under instructions from their party high command, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah. They are not allowed to use cell phones and each of them are under watch by private security personnel," the leader alleged.
The rebels were also not allowed to go out throughout the day. Visitors are not allowed to meet them.
"We don't know their travel plans. We have provided security to them as they requested in a joint letter to the state DGP (Praveen Sood) on March 9," Inspector General of Police Sharat Chandra told IANS earlier in the day.
Security has been stepped up in a 5km radius around the resort, with 6-stages of check posts en-route to the resort. Entry into the resort is regulated and movement of vehicles and guests is monitored.
"As the lawmakers were unable to leave Bengaluru, they are likely to miss the first day of the session if they miss to take the flight on Monday morning. They are under detention at the resort," the leader asserted.
If the Speaker accepts all 22 resignations, including that of three party MLAs in Bhopal, the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government will be reduced to minority as its strength will dwindle to 92 from 114.
In the 230-member MP Assembly, where there are two vacancies, the strength of the House will be 206 with 104 as the halfway mark for a simple majority, which will be an advantage to the BJP that has 107 members.
In that case, even with the support of 2 Samajwadi Party, one Bahujan Samaj Party and four independent MLAs, the Congress will be able muster only 97 members.
"Attempts are being made by the BJP to prevent the Congress MLAs from flying to Bhopal to ensure their absence in the Assembly on Monday. It will result in fall of the Nath government for a lack of majority," Karnataka Congress leader Prakash Rathod told IANS.
The BJP is repeating the July 2019 Karnataka script, when 14 Congress and three Janata Dal MLAs resigned and abstained from the Assembly on July 23 when then Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy went for the floor test and lost for want of simple majority, as the House strength was reduced to 208 from 225. (IANS)