After its headaches in Gujarat where three MLAs resigned ahead of Rajya Sabha polls, the Congress on Wednesday charged the BJP with attempts to destabilise the Rajasthan government. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot claimed that some of the party MLAs were offered Rs 25 crore each, as the legislators were ferried to a Jaipur resort ahead of the elections to three seats of the Rajya Sabha on June 19.
Claiming a heavy transfer of cash to Jaipur, Gehlot said there were reports about the BJP’s plan similar to that of Madhya Pradesh and some of the party MLAs were offered Rs 25 crore in cash with Rs 10 crore in advance. “But, the party MLAs were alert and united,” he said, adding that the condition of those who left the Congress to join the BJP was not good.
He also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that the Rajya Sabha elections were postponed under pressure because the BJP could not poach MLAs in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
In Gujarat, ahead of Rajya Sabha elections to four seats, Congress’ Akshay Patel, Jitu Chaudhary and Brijesh Merja had resigned as legislators. MLAs Pravin Maru, Pradyumnasinh Jadeja, Soman Patel, J.V. Kakidia, and Mangal Gavit had resigned in March. Before the defections, Congress was projected to win two seats. However, it may struggle to do so now.
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said no one in Congress will defect ahead of Rajya Sabha polls in Madhya Pradesh. Singh said the MLAs who wanted to leave the Congress had done so in Madhya Pradesh (referring to Jyotiraditya Scindia and his followers). “Those who decided to stay in the party have passed a tough exam. So, this [defection] is not going to happen in MP,” Singh said while addressing a press conference.
Earlier in the day, Congress’ national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, who arrived in Jaipur to attend the meeting of the Congress MLAs and independent legislators, said “repeated assassination of public mandate” has become the BJP’s character. The BJP’s conspiracy in Rajasthan will not succeed, he said, adding that the Congress MLAs are fearless; therefore, they are not going to fall into any temptation and the BJP will get the right reply through democracy.
Stressing that the party has an absolute majority, he said no one can defeat the public mandate or democracy. Alleging a bid to poach the party MLAs and the independent legislators backing the government, government chief whip Mahesh Joshi too forwarded a written complaint to the DG, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). He sought action against ‘identified’ elements for the corrupt conduct and attempts for destabilising the government.
It has come to my knowledge that like Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, attempts are being made to destabilise the government in Rajasthan, Joshi said in the complaint. However, he did not specify who is making the attempts. ACB DG Alok Tripathi said action will be taken on the complaint.