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Congress loses 2 MLAs before shepherding the rest to a resort

Two missing MLA’s have given the Congress sleepless nights since it became clear earlier this week that a game of numbers was about to begin in hung Karnataka. Newly-elected legislators of Congress and JDS have shifted to separate resorts following reports that the BJP has been ‘trying to buy’ them.

However, BJP denied the JDS and Congress allegations of offering MLAs up to Rs 100 crore for switching sides.

Anand Singh, 52, has been MIA since Tuesday, the day of the Karnataka results. He is one of the 78 Congress legislators elected to the 224-member state assembly. Congress MLA Anand Singh, once part of mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy’s coterie went missing and fellow-party MLAs, including Singh’s friend B Nagendra, spent the day ‘searching’ for him in vain.

Anand Singh faces charges of illegally transporting iron ore. He was arrested in 2013 on charges of illegally exporting iron ore. He was released on bail two years later.

“Modi government is misusing institutions of the central government. I know they are threatening MLAs. A Congress MLA told me Anand Singh called him and told him ‘they are using ED (Enforcement Directorate), I had a case in ED and they are going to screw me. I’m sorry I have to protect my interest’,” Mr Kumaraswamy said, quoting Anand Singh.

Elections to Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Jayanagar have been postponed, while Kumaraswamy has been elected from Channapatna and Ramanagar. In case the trust vote is held after the two bypolls, the majority mark will be 112. The BJP is reportedly contacting every ‘vulnerable’ MLA, including some who joined Congress or JDS just before elections. First-timers and MLAs belonging to the Lingayat community in the Congress have reportedly become primary targets.

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