Karnataka crisis: Congress leaders Shivakumar, Milind Deora detained in Mumbai

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Mumbai, July 10 (IANS) Congress leaders D.K. Shivakumar and Milind Deora were detained on Wednesday outside the five-star hotel, where the Karnataka rebel MLAs are holed up in Mumbai, leading to high drama.

Mumbai Congress leader Milind Deora had arrived at the hotel to meet D.K. Shivakumar in a bid to resolve the ongoing political crisis in Karnataka, said a party official.

Shivakumar had parked himself outside Hotel Renaissance, ignoring ‘Go Back’ chants from the rebel MLAs, after his suite booking was cancelled and the police stopped him from getting inside.

Standing under an umbrella in heavy rain, Shivakumar said he was prepared ‘to wait outside the hotel all day’, but would not quit without meeting his ‘friends’ (the rebels).

‘I won’t go without meeting my friends. They will call me. Their hearts will give in. I am in touch with them already, our hearts are beating for each other,’ Shivakumar said in an emotional appeal.

Calling the rebels his ‘brothers’ who loved and respected each other, he termed the crisis as ‘a family problem’.

The police action came on a letter written on Tuesday by the rebel MLAs to Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve pleading for protection from Karnataka leaders like Kumaraswamy, Shivakumar and others.

In the letter, the MLAs said they had heard that Kumaraswamy, Shivakumar and others were planning to storm the hotel premises. ‘We feel threatened. We do not want to meet them, kind request to help us in this matter and not allow them to enter the hotel premises,’ said the letter.

Copies of the letter — 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 — were sent to the local Zone X DCP, Saki Naka Police Station and the hotel management.

Shivakumar, however, denied the apprehensions. ‘There is no question of threatening anyone,’ he said.–IANS

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