Congress desperate to keep its remaining members intact shifts over 49 MLAs from Ahmedabad to party-ruled Bengaluru.
After Shakersinh Vaghela left the party on July 21, Congress has seen a few more exits leaving the party in a state of commotion just ahead of the Gujarat Rajya Sabha Polls due on Aug 8. While 3 MLAs resigned on July 28 another three add to the list on 29 July. With this, the total number comes to 7 MLAs leaving including Shankersinh Vaghela, Balwantsingh Rajput, Tejashree Patel and Prahlad Patel, Thasra MLA Ramsinh Parmar, Balasinor MLA Mansinh Chauhan and Vansda MLA Chhana Chaudhary.
The 3 new MLAs submitted their resignations to Speaker Ramanlal Voras and said that they would decide their future course of action in the next few days.
With the numbers increasing daily Congress is fearing the worst and to keep its remaining MLAs safe and intact flew them to Bengaluru on Friday night. The party sources said that 49 MLAs flown to Bengaluru will be staying there for around a week with Gujarat Congress unit president Bharatsinh Solanki. Congress leader Jagdish Thakor said the remaining Congress MLAs were also being flown out and that all would be present on the day of the Rajya Sabha elections.
Gujarat Congress also alleged BJP of horse-trading, and use of money, muscle and state power to buy their MLAs. The party accused BJP of spending crores of rupees to buy their MLAs and lure them to join BJP by giving them tempting offer Assembly tickets.
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi underlined that resignation is also corruption and said that under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act BJP is doing a wrong by bribing its MLAs. According to the sources, two more MLAs might quit the party in the next 24 hours.
Responding to the allegations made by Congress, Bhupender Yadav, BJP general secretary in charge of Gujarat, said BJP had nothing to do with the resignations of Congress MLAs, they left because of internal fight in the party. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned Congress that “a senior leader like Shankersinh Vaghela, former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition, has left the Congress. Three-time MLA and its chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput has left it too. Does the Congress want to suggest that it has given important positions to such leaders who could be purchased?” He further added that the allegations made by Congress show the utter desperation of the party.