Congress' Gujarat crisis: Party alleges 44 lawmakers camping in Bengaluru threatened, bribed

Kristopher Drake
July 31, 2017

"Ask these MLAs the way they are threatened, they chose to stand by party even when offered Rs 15 crore", Gohil said. "We have been told to take care of them", said the official.

Sources said as energy minister D K Shivakumar is in Singapore, his brother and Bengaluru Rural MP D K Suresh, Congress MLC C M Lingappa, and party leader Saleem Ahmad are handling operations at Eagleton. He claimed that the Congress MLAs from Gujarat were fighting for democracy.

Countering criticism of bringing the legislators to the resort to Bengaluru when Gujarat is reeling under heavy rain and floods, Gohil said the MLAs were brought here after party leaders came to know about BJP's attempt to poach their MLAs using "money and muscle" power. Gujarat Congress legislature party chief whip Shailesh Parmar said, "Three MLAs, including me, Shaktisinh Gohil and another one, are yet to reach Bengaluru". They are expected to be flown back before the elections on August 8. Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Bharat Solanki alleged that the BJP was playing "dirty politics". A section of the Congress legislators claimed that seven MLAs decided against going to Bengaluru.

Meanwhile in a bid to protect its MLAs in Gujarat from any form of horse trading ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections, the Congress leadership flew more than 40 MLAs from Gujarat to a private resort in Bengaluru on Saturday. The Rajya Sabha poll has become a keen contest as there are four candidates in the fray for three vacancies -- including BJP President Amit Shah, Union Minister Smriti Irani, Balwantsinh Rajput and Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel who are locked in a fierce battle.

"They roam around with money to bribe people but the ones who have been loyal to the party will continue to be loyal to them and won't fall into their trap", he added. "I think the Congress MLAs who are fed up with the internal rift will break all barriers and join the BJP soon". "Our MLAs visited their places, We have proof and we can show photos clicked on their mobile phones", Gohil said. "They have taken their MLAs to Bengaluru as they do not have faith in their MLAs", he said in Rajkot. In the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, the strength of the Congress has gone down to 51 from 57, following the resignations of six MLAs.

Gohil rejected the charges of the BJP that the Congress legislators were enjoying their stay at the Egleton Golf Resort, neglecting their duties back home at a time when North Gujarat is reeling under floods. "Similarly, Ahmed Patel's greed to save his Rajya Sabha seat here will sink Gujarat Congress", he said.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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