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Not aware of presence of dissident K'taka MLAs in Mumbai: BJP

Not aware of presence of dissident K'taka MLAs in Mumbai: BJP

(Eds: Adds quotes) Mumbai, Jul 7 (PTI) The Maharashtra BJP claimed on Sunday that it was not aware of the presence any of the 10 dissident MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) combine from Karnataka in Mumbai, though a saffron party leader was spotted at a hotel where these MLAs are put up.The JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka plunged into a crisis on Saturday, with 13 MLAs of the alliance submitting their resignation to the speaker.After putting in their papers, 10 MLAs boarded a chartered flight to Mumbai and arrived at the hotel late Saturday night, sources close to them said.Karnataka Congress MLA Mahendra Singhi and Maharashtra BJP legislator Prasad Lad were seen at the hotel Sunday morning.Singhi told reporters that he had met Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi and spoke about the reasons of his quitting the Assembly."There is no threat to our government as the issues will be resolved on the chief minister's return," Singhi said.Lad, however, refused to speak on his presence at the hotel."I don't know anything about this and came to know about it in the media. I am busy with the BJP membership drive," he said.When contacted, Maharashtra BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhayay said, "We are not aware of the presence of any MLA from Karnataka in Mumbai. We have nothing to do with the developments."Rebel JD(S) MLA A H Vishwanath told reporters on Saturday that "14 MLAs from Congress and JD(S) have resigned", but Karnataka Assembly secretariat sources said 13 legislators have put in their papers, including Vijayanagara MLA Anand Singh, who had submitted his resignation to the speaker's office earlier in the week.The JD(S)-Congress coalition's total strength, including those who have put in their papers, is 118 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP-1 and Independents-2), besides the speaker.The BJP has 105 MLAs in the Karnataka House. PTI MR GK BNM IJTIJT