The Mumbai hotel where the rebel Karnataka MLAs are staying has virtually turned into a fortress with police personnel lining the entire stretch from its main gate to the entrance.
A large contingent of media persons was also camping outside the Renaissance Hotel in Powai area.
Senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar, who had booked a room in the hotel was barred from entering as his reservation was cancelled "due to some emergency" by the management. No charges will be applicable, the hotel said in an e-mail.
After standing outside for a few hours, the Karnataka Water Resources Minister could only manage to sit on the hotel's compound wall with his feet over a stormwater drainage opening.
Security was stepped up outside the luxury hotel since morning when Shivakumar, the Congress' troubleshooter, insisted on meeting the rebel MLAs in a desperate bid to pull the Congress-JD(S) Karnataka government from the brink of collapse.
Every vehicle entering the hotel premises was being thoroughly checked, including those of a few local Congress leaders who arrived at the property.
Mumbai Congress leader Ganesh Yadav was the first party leader from Maharashtra to meet Shivakumar around 11 am.
Later, local Congress MLA Naseem Khan, and party leaders Milind Deora and Sanjay Nirupam arrived at the site at around 1 pm.
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