New Delhi: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Wednesday said police had stopped Karnataka Minister D.K. Shivakumar from entering a hotel in Mumbai after rebel Congress MLAs complained that they faced threats from him.
Joshi’s response came in the Lok Sabha after Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accused the government of imposing “martial law” in Maharashtra and accused it of “poaching” elected members from Karnataka.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Chowdhury said Karnataka Irrigation Minister Shivakumar was not allowed by the police to enter the Mumbai hotel where Congress and Janata Dal-Secular MLAs were staying although he had booked a room in the same hotel.
The hotel owner told him that his booking had been cancelled.
“What does it mean? Today, elected members are being poached. A Minister is not being allowed to meet them. This should stop. Democracy is being crushed,” Chowdhury said.
Responding, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said the MLAs in Maharashtra had resigned from the Congress but their resignations had not been accepted.
“For that purpose they may have gone to Mumbai. They have given in writing to the Mumbai Police Commissioner that there is a threat to their lives from Shivakumar,” Joshi said.
The MLAs urged the police not to allow Shivakumar into the hotel, said the Minister. “What is wrong with that?”
Shivakumar, a senior Congress leader in Karnataka, was on Wednesday hooted outside Hotel Renaissance in Mumbai. He was not allowed to enter the five-star hotel.
In a letter to Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve late on Tuesday, the rebel MLAs said they feared threats and sought security.
“We feel threatened. We do not want to meet him,” the letter said.
The letter was signed by Shivram Hebbar, Pratap Gowda Patil, B.C. Patil, Byrati Basavraj, S.T. Somshekar, Ramesh Jharkiholi, Gopalaiyya, H. Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda and Mahesh Kumutali.