Rajasthan Congress fears poaching under its own rule, packs off MLAs to resort

Photo: IANS

Jaipur: Despite a Congress government in Rajasthan, its MLAs are being sent to a private resort fearing poaching by the BJP in view of the Rajya Sabha election scheduled on June 19.

The Congress MLAs, since afternoon, have been coming to the resort with their suitcases, bags and personal luggage for they will have to spend nine days in the resort, Congress officials said.

Amid the crisis looming large in the party, Congress state in-charge Avinash Pandey landed in Jaipur on Thursday and met with MLAs in the resort. On Wednesday, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala also reached Jaipur after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot accused BJP of indulging in horse trading.

He alleged that the BJP is trying to repeat the Madhya Pradesh story in the state by offering Rs 25 crore to its MLAs.

The Congress is set to hold a meeting on the crisis at 10 pm on Thursday.

Rajya Sabha contestant KC Venugopal will reach the state capital by Thursday night, Congress workers said.

Meanwhile PCC president Sachin Pilot, speaking to the media, said, “As a state party president, I would like to confirm here that all MLAs of the party stand united. There is no need to spread lies. None of our MLAs can be sold or bought. We are all together and shall win two seats out of three in Rajya Sabha elections.”

Meanwhile, there were reports coming in that two MLAs from Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, an alliance partner of BJP, can support Congress.

However, RLP convenor and Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal refuted such claims.

On his Facebook post, he questioned that when Congress is unable to handle its own MLAs, how is it possible for him to make a dent in another party’s camp?

“Gehlotji is flouting medical norms by sending his own MLAs in a resort during corona times which proves he doesn’t trust his own MLAs,” he said.

Beniwal further said, “RLP is not BSP but is a Rashtriya Loktantrik Party which was formed after ground struggles.”

6 MLAs of BSP merged with Congress a few months back.

Meanwhile, MLAs from Pilot camp who were missing on Wednesday also reached the resort on Thursday which included state minister Vishvendra Singh and Ramnarayan Meena among others.

On the other side, BJP looked surprised at this “big political drama” being staged in the state.

Leader of opposition Gulabchand Kataria said, “Rajasthan CM respected Gehlotji, in fact, gave a very surprising statement. It is his own government in the state, he has support of independents and his own MLAs are with him. Now, why is he raising allegations on BJP of horse trading? It seems there is strong factionalism within the party and to hide that, they have put their MLAs in a resort.”

“With my experience, I can say it is difficult for Congress to handle the factionalism within the party and hence Gehlot is raising allegations on BJP. If you are calling MLAs from Gujarat, it is understood as you don’t have your government there, but despite Congress ruling this state, sending your own MLAs to a resort doesn’t sound justified. If you are accusing BJP of horse trading, you should prove those allegations,” he said.

The political drama started in Rajasthan on Wednesday when Gehlot accused BJP of indulging in horse trading and luring its MLAs with a cash amount of Rs 25 crore. Congress whip Mahesh Joshi also made an official complaint to DG (ACB) Alok Tripathi to take strict actions against the accused for flouting democracy norms and trying to buy Congress MLAs.

He also said that reliable sources informed the party officials of huge cash coming to Jaipur from Delhi.

Four candidates, two from Congress and two from BJP have been fielded in Rajasthan for 3 Rajya Sabha seats. Congress leaders alleged that BJP has fielded its second candidate to disturb the equation.

IANS

 

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