Bengaluru: Thoroughly flustered, Congress leaders on Monday suspended party legislator J.N. Ganesh (Kampli), who faces charges of attempt to murder, in the aftermath of his attack on his mentor-turned-foe and Vijayanagar (Hosapete) MLA, Anand Singh, during a brawl at a resort on the outskirts of the city in the wee hours of Sunday.
The party top brass asked state unit leaders to get tough on the legislator from Kampli (Ballari district) and to allow all MLAs to return to their constituencies as well instead of staying put in the resort to avoid attempts by BJP leaders to woo them in an effort to topple the coalition government.
In a statement released to the media, the Pradesh Congress Committee said Mr Ganesh will be placed under suspension immediately following instructions from state unit president Dinesh Gundurao.
In addition, Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwar will head a special committee to probe the hideous incident involving these two legislators. Industries minister, K.J. George, and RDPR minister, Krishna Byre Gowda have been picked as members of this committee. Mr Ganesh is likely to be arrested following a complaint registered by Mr Anand Singh, who, incidentally is undergoing treatment at a private hospital for injuries sustained during the fisticuffs.
A senior leader told Deccan Chronicle that central leaders sought the opinion of former chief minister Siddaramaiah and other leaders about the clash. "The top brass does not accept such kind of violent behaviour. Congress president Rahul Gandhi's approach is to win over people through non-violent means. Hence, the party decided to initiate stringent action against Mr Ganesh and also paved the way for Mr Singh's family to file a complaint against the former. The party now wants to wash off its hands as a private spat between two individuals rather than risk a dent to the party's image," the leader added.