Siddaramaiah in crunch meeting with Congress MLAs

Hyderabad: Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Friday held a crucial meeting with Congress MLAs here on Friday to discuss the strategy to be adopted in the state Assembly on Saturday when the BJP government seeks a trust vote.

The Congress leader flew in to Hyderabad hours after the MLAs of the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) were moved here by their respective parties to prevent them from poaching by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the crucial floor test in the new Assembly.

Siddaramaiah drove to hotel Taj Krishna and began consultations with the party leaders in the wake of the Supreme Court judgement directing Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to take floor test at 4pm on Saturday.

According to Congress sources, the senior leader is giving directions to the MLAs to ensure coordination to defeat the trust vote. The meeting was attended by all 76 MLAs of the party.

The MLAs of JD-S are staying at hotel Novotel. Sources have not ruled out the possibility of a joint meeting of the legislators of both the parties later in the day.

Three busloads of MLAs arrived here after their nightlong road journey from Bengaluru. This happened after the plans of the two parties to move the legislators to Kochi failed.

All 76 Congress MLAs checked in at Taj Krishna in Banjara Hills. The bus carrying 36 JD-S MLAs first stopped at Park Hyatt in the same area but was later taken to Novotel Hotel.

Police have made tight security arrangements at the two hotels. Media persons have been barred from entering while security personnel were frisking visitors before allowing them in.

Congress leader Madhu Goud Yashki, who accompanied the MLAs from Bengaluru, told reporters that the BJP was shamelessly trying to poach on the MLAs. He said the BJP would fail as the Congress-JD-S enjoy the majority.

Telangana Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy, senior leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir and others met the party MLAs at Taj Krishna.

Within hours of the MLAs checking in at the hotels came the Supreme Court judgement directing the BJP government in Karnataka to prove its majority on the floor of the Assembly on Saturday.