Ballari: Did Vijayanagar (Hosapete) Congress MLA Anand Singh pay the price for 'squealing' to party bigwigs on his fellow legislators flirting with the BJP, which made the Congress put in place an action plan to thwart the BJP's toppling attempt around Sankranti (January 15)?
The brawl in the early hours of Sunday involving Anand Singh and Kampli Congress MLA J.N. Ganesh after a party at Eagleton Resort in the city's outskirts, goes to prove this. "Both Ganesh and another Ballari legislator, Bheema Naik were upset with Anand Singh since January 15 but no one expected an angry outburst of this manner," said a senior Congress legislator from Ballari.
Soon after reports that BJP state president Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa was planning a coup on Sankranti day, Mr Anand Singh along with Water Resources Minister Mr D.K. Shivakumar met AICC in-charge of the state Mr K.C. Venugopal in Bengaluru. "Singh revealed all details of the BJP's Operation Kamala to Venugopal. This vital information alerted the Congress leadership ", said a source.
On January 16, former CM Siddaramaiah directed all Congress MLAs to attend the Congress Legislature Party meeting to be held on January 18 and warned of strict action if they did not do so. "At this time, both Bheema Naik and Ganesh were staying at a resort in Chikkamagalur and this information was leaked to CM Kumaraswamy and Venugopal by none other than Anand Singh", said a source adding that only Mr Singh knew about their whereabouts at that time.
Sources said, both Naik and Ganesh attended the CLP meeting on January 18 to avoid disciplinary action but did not expect to be shifted to a resort.
They tried to reportedly attack Mr Singh soon after they were taken to the resort as they both felt betrayed by the Hosapete legislator.
And why did Mr Singh, earlier a BJP legislator, decide to become the 'eyes and ears' of the Congress top brass? The legislator explained that soon after the formation of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government last May, BJP leaders had reportedly offered huge amounts of money ranging from Rs 50 crore to 100 crore saying they would make sure the Congress legislators who quit the party, get elected again on the BJP ticket. Mr Singh too was one of the eight disgruntled Congress legislators who were being lured at that time.
“However, Anand Singh knew he would not find place in a BJP government's cabinet, since he belongs to a micro-minority in the state, the Rajputs. Other Congress legislators like B. Nagendra and Ganesh both belong to the ST-Nayaka community and Bheema Naik is a Banjara and so they could easily make it to the Cabinet if the BJP formed the government", said a source adding that this made Mr Singh turn an 'informer' to the coalition government's bigwigs, particularly CM H.D. Kumaraswamy, with whom he enjoys good ties, and Mr D.K. Shivakumar.