The curious case of ‘missing’ MLA rocks House
The mysterious disappearance of Congress MLA for Kagawad Shrimant Balasaheb Patil from a resort here and his appearance in a Mumbai hospital on Thursday morning rocked the Legislative Assembly proceedings, with the Congress accusing the BJP of engineering the defection and terming it as a case of “kidnapping”.
Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar eventually directed Home Minister M.B. Patil to probe the matter and submit a report to him by Friday morning. While the Congress had issued a whip to all its legislators to be present during the session, Mr. Shrimant Patil’s disappearance further reduced the JD(S)–Congress coalition’s strength in the Assembly.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao said Mr. Shrimant Patil was healthy and was together with all Congress MLAs till late night on Wednesday. “Last night we received a message that he was missing from the resort where we were put up. Later, we realised the BJP had played a role in this. He was healthy, and today [on Thursday] we see he is ill,” he said.
He went to Chennai overnight and from there flew to Mumbai on Thursday morning. “Why would a man who is ill travel all night and then go to Mumbai to receive treatment? Maharashtra police are protecting the hospital. This clearly shows the BJP has a direct role in this. We request you to institute an investigation into the whole affair. This is a conspiracy to get the MLA abstain from the session. We request you to get the Home Ministry to probe the matter and ensure that the MLA comes back,” he said.