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Cong MLA charged with attempt to murder, party suspends him

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

: A red-faced Congress in Karnataka Monday suspended its MLA J N Ganesh, who was also slapped with a case of attempt to murder for allegedly hitting his lawmaker colleague Anand Singh during an alleged brawl at a private resort here on Saturday night.

A day after the incident came to light, the case was registered on a complaint by Singh, who has been hospitalised for an injury he suffered in the alleged brawl at Eagleton Resorts where the Congress MLAs were sequestered to shield them from BJP's alleged poaching bid.

According to the FIR, besides attempt to murder, Ganesh, who was one of the MLAs reportedly under the BJP lens for desertion, has been charged with causing grievous injuries and giving threats.

Singh alleged that on Saturday night Ganesh waylaid him when he was on way to his room after dinner.

According to the FIR, Singh said in his complaint that Ganesh was upset with him for not helping him financially during the assembly elections in May.

The argument had broken out after Ganesh alleged that Singh's nephew Sandeep had threatened him that he would finish him off politically.

Hurling invectives, Ganesh then allegedly assaulted him with a stick and a pot.

Ganesh rammed Singh's head against the wall and as the latter fell to the ground, started kicking him in the stomach and face.

He asked for a pistol to eliminate him, Singh said in his complaint.

Singh further stated in his complaint that his life and that of his family members was in danger and sought police protection and "appropriate" action against the accused.

After seeking to downplay the incident with multiple versions on Sunday, the Congress suspended Ganesh and set up an inquiry committee headed by deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, as it faced severe embarrassment and opposition criticism.

As serious allegations have been made with regard to the incident, on the orders of KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao, Ganesh has been suspended with immediate effect, pending inquiry, the Pradesh Congress said in a release here.

The probe panel also includes ministers K J George and Krishna Byre Gowda, the release said, adding that the committee had been asked to submit the report at the earliest.

The statement said that party leaders have conducted a preliminary inquiry about the 'unpleasant' incident on January 19 and also collected information from Anand Singh.

A jittery Congress had shifted its legislators to the resort on Friday last, as it feared that the BJP might lure some of them in its alleged bid to destabilise the Congress-JDS coalition government in the state.

Senior minister D K Shivakumar had denied Singh had been assaulted and claimed all the Congress MLAs were united, while party spokesperson and former MP Madhu Goud Yakshi said the scuffle was related to some business issue and had nothing to do with politics.

Contradicting the Congress version, a medical report of the hospital where Singh is under treatment, said "history of traumatic injury at around 1 AM on January 20 at Eagleton Resort, Bidadi, and sustained injury to head, face and left side chest pain."

It also said "no history of loss of consciousness, seizure and vomiting" and added that there were complaints of headache and left side chest pain.

The report also cited "black eye, nasal blood clot, and tenderness over left lower chest".

Ganesh, meanwhile, claimed that he too was injured in the scuffle but said no "bottle attack" had taken place as projected in the media.

He indicated that some kind of a brawl had taken place between him and Singh at the resort.

"Whatever media has created about (my) hitting (Singh) with bottle... 14 to 20 stitches... are all completely false.

There were also reports about (me) having bitten our gun man. He is physically present here. This is also a lie," Ganesh said.

"I did not hit him, he (Singh) fell...,he fell automatically," he said.

The Congress has been struggling to keep its flock intact and held a legislature party meeting on Friday as a show of strength, which four party MLAs skipped.

The party has issued notices to the absentee MLAs,seeking an explanation why action should not be taken against them under the anti-defection law for not attending the CLP.

Meanwhile, the Congress legislators started vacating the resort on Monday to return to their homes, party sources said.

BJP MLAs who were sheltered in a luxury hotel in Gurugram flew back home on Saturday.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 21 2019. 20:06 IST