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‘Missing’ Congress MLA Sends Mail to Karnataka Speaker, Cites Absence of Letterhead to Prove Innocence

Bangalore

Karnataka rebel Congress MLA Shrimant Patil, who was hospitalised on Thursday after complaining of chest pain, has clarified that he is not in the custody of Bharatiya Janata Party legislators.

“I had gone to Chennai from the resort in Bengaluru. On my way back, I suddenly fell ill. When I consulted my family doctor, he advised me to come to Mumbai. I had sent the letter of absence in urgency. If this was pre-planned, I would have carried a letterhead with me. I am not in the custody of BJP MLAs,” he wrote in a mail, which was read out by Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar in the Assembly on Friday.

The legislator’s disappearance from Karnataka and sudden appearance in Mumbai came on a day when state Assembly was rocked during a trust vote. The Congress had alleged on Thursday that Patil, who had gone incommunicado, had been “kidnapped” as part of efforts to destabliise the coalition government.

The Congress MLAs said the lawmakers were living in fear and Patil was kidnapped, kept in a room, taken by a special flight to Mumbai and admitted to a hospital.

Senior minister DK Shivakumar said they would produce documents to show that Patil was forcibly admitted to the hospital to skip the trust vote. Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge claimed the BJP had brought Patil to Mumbai in its attempt to topple the Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka. Police was not allowing anyone to meet Patil, Kharge said.

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