In a major embarrassment to the Congress on Sunday, Hosapete MLA Anand Singh has been admitted to a hospital after he sustained a head injury in an alleged brawl with Kampli MLA JN Ganesh at Eagleton resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
Singh is now being treated at Apollo Hospital in Seshadripuram, where authorities said he would be under observation for 24 hours. “The MLA was brought to the hospital at 7am on Sunday with injuries on his head and face. He also had chest discomfort. He has undergone CT scan and no serious condition is noticed. Since he has suffered a head injury we have kept him under observation,” said Dr G Yateesh, additional director, Karnataka Congress MLA lands in hospital after ‘clash’: What Karnataka region, Apollo Hospitals.
However, party leaders sought to downplay the incident, even denying that there was a fight between the MLAs and said Singh hurt himself after he slipped in the hotel. Congress MLAs have been camping in the resort for the past two days amid fears of poaching by the BJP.
After Saturday’s meeting chaired by former chief minister Siddaramaiah , lawmakers Singh, Ganesh, LBJ Bheema Naik and minister E Tukaram, all from Ballari, were reportedly partying till midnight when the fight broke out. Ganesh is said to have blamed Singh for having tipped off the Congress leadership about his intention to join BJP along with former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and others. This is believed to have led to a scuffle, in which Ganesh hit Singh with a bottle. Naik also reportedly sided with Ganesh. According to a Congress source, a doctor was summoned, but the injured MLA was later shifted to the hospital after he complained of chest discomfort. Senior leaders brushed away such reports, a couple of them offering different versions of the incident. “Singh has gone to attend a marriage of their relative.
There was no fight between Ganesh and him. Reports in the media are all false,” DK Shivakumar, water resources minister, told reporters. However, minutes later when it emerged Singh was hospitalised, the Congress changed tack. “Singh had chest pain, so he has got himself admitted…” said MP DK Suresh, who was handed the responsibility of accommodating the MLAs’ at the resort. Questioned about his brother Shivakumar’s statement, Suresh said: “He wasn’t aware that the MLA was in hospital.” Singh’s family too was kept in the dark. His wife Lakshmi Singh, who had gone to Mumbai to attend a wedding, told a news channel: “Nobody is giving us a clear picture of what happened. All the Congress leaders are saying is that my husband is fine. I have not spoken to my husband yet.” Eventually at 3pm, food and civil supplies minister BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan confirmed there was a “minor fight” between MLAs.
He accused the media of blowing it out of proportion. “Fights among friends are common,” Khan said. “This is a minor issue. Anand Singh is doing fine and doctors have advised him rest.” Singh’s parents arrived in Bengaluru from Hosapete in the evening and visited their son in hospital. No police case was registered even 18 hours after the incident. The BJP was quick to issue a political response. In a tweet, the party said: “What more proof do we need to tell all is not well within Congress.”