BJP attempting to destabilize Rajasthan government, alleges Congress, shifts MLAs
The Congress in Rajasthan sniffed a plot to destabilize its government by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and as a precautionary measure, moved nearly 107 MLAs and independents supporting Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's regime to a resort at the outskirts of Jaipur on Wednesday. This development comes ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, for three seats, which is scheduled for June 19.
Attempts being made to lure MLAs, said Congress' Manoj Joshi
Rajasthan's Assembly Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi wrote a letter to Director General of Anti-Corruption Bureau, Alok Tripathi, saying he learned of "dirty attempts" being made to lure MLAs, similar to what happened in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat. Karnataka's JD(S)-Congress government fell last year; in MP, CM Kamal Nath lost the majority, and in Gujarat, before the Rajya Sabha polls, eight Congress MLAs quit.
Congress has 107 MLAs in the 200-seated Assembly
The letter said the Congress government was completely devoted to serving people. These attempts "are not only directly against democratic values, but also against public aspirations, illegal, immoral, condemnable and punishable by law," said Joshi. In the 200-seated Assembly, Congress has 107 MLAs, including six legislators who switched camps from BSP. 13 independents also support the government which came to power in 2018.
According to Gehlot, MLAs were offered Rs. 25 crore
Earlier, Gehlot said he learned through reports that BJP was offering Rs. 25 crore to Congress MLAs, Rs. 10 crore of which would be paid in advance. "But, the party MLAs were alert and united," he said, adding that the situation of those who jumped ships wasn't good. Congress is learned to have shifted its MLAs to Shiv Vilas, a resort on Delhi-Jaipur highway.
Congress MLAs are fearless, won't deflect, said Randeep Singh Surjewala
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, who arrived in Jaipur for a meeting with MLAs, said that "repeated assassination of public mandate" has become BJP's nature. He claimed BJP's conspiracy in the state will not succeed as MLAs are fearless. BJP will get response through democracy, he added. To note, BJP has 72 MLAs in Rajasthan and support of six others too.
Three Rajya Sabha members retired, making way for polls
To note, Rajya Sabha polls were necessitated in Rajasthan as BJP's Ram Narain Dudi, Vijay Goel, and Narayan Lal Panchariya retired on April 9. BJP has fielded Rajendra Gehlot and Onkar Singh Lakhawat, and Congress gave tickets to Neeraj Dangi and KC Venugopal. To win, each candidate requires 51 first preference votes. Congress could win two seats, and BJP might win one seat.
In MP, Chouhan apparently admitted BJP dislodged Nath's government
The allegations also come at a time when Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan purportedly admitted in an audio clip that his party was behind the fall of Nath's government. After governing MP for 15 months, Nath lost the majority with the switch of Congress veteran Jyotiraditya Scindia. Chouhan said the central leadership planned the coup as Congress ruined MP.