As Karnataka gears up for the crucial trust vote on Thursday, security for the group of rebel MLAs who had flocked to Mumbai has been heightened.
The Mumbai hotel where the group of rebel MLAs is staying, has been at the centre of the controversy in the past week when Congress minister DK Shivakumar camped outside the hotel wanting to meet the rebels.
According to sources, ahead of the floor test that will make or break the JDS-Congress coalition, the rebel MLAs have been shifted to higher floors at the Renaissance Hotel in Mumbai. Several layers of security have been put in place at the hotel. No one will be allowed to enter any of the floors where the MLAs are staying, said sources.
Personnel of the Mumbai Police, too, has deployed inside the hotel at various floors. Several officers have been deployed in civil clothes.
Earlier, the group of MLAs had written to the Mumbai Police Commissioner, asking for security. In the letter, they said that while Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad may try to meet them, they have no intention of meeting any leader of Karnataka or Maharashtra Congress.
Sources said, “Movement of the MLAs has also been restricted. This is the first time their movement has been restricted during their stay in Mumbai.”
The group of MLAs has been requested to not venture out and all meetings have been scheduled inside their rooms.
The MLAs are eagerly waiting for the Tuesday’s hearing of their plea in the Supreme Court. The group had approached the apex court against Karnataka Speaker who turned down their resignations earlier over wrong format.
There were also rumours that the faction of rebel MLAs was divided. But on Sunday, all MLAs came together and addressed a press conference to clear the air. They said they were all are united and their stand was very clear. The group once again clarified that they will not take back their resignations.
The Congress and JDS coalition was thrown into a major crisis earlier this month when 13 MLAs of the two parties resigned in an abrupt move. Soon, several other MLAs too joined the group of rebels, thus significantly taking down the numbers of the ruling coalition in the Karnataka assembly.
However, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy has said he is confident of his government and even went on to call for a floor test.
(With inputs from Sahil Joshi)