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Congress Parades Its Gujarat MLAs, Says BJP Offered Rs 15 Crore Bribe to Each

Congress MLAs holed up in a resort in Bengaluru claimed on Sunday they went to Karnataka of their own accord as the BJP was threatening them.

News18.com

Updated:July 31, 2017, 8:56 AM IST
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Bengaluru: The Congress on Sunday paraded its 44 MLAs lodged in a resort on Bengaluru outskirts before media to scotch reports of disunity in their ranks, and accused the BJP of trying to poach them by offering a bribe of Rs 15 crore each to cross-vote in the Rajya Sabha polls.

In a press conference, the 44 MLAs presented a united stand and said BJP had tried to buy off 22 MLAs and had even offered to pay Rs 15 crore to each of them, but they have not succumbed. "The BJP is trying to poach our MLAs for Rs 15 crore, but we resisted them. Our families are being threatened," Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil said.

Congress had on late Friday night moved 44 of its Gujarat MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru to guard them against "poaching" by the BJP ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha polls in the state. The BJP has denied reports of horse-trading and said the Congress' actions has exposed its desperation.

Gohil said they only need 45 votes to send Sonia Gandhi's political adviser Ahmed Patel to the Rajya Sabha and they are confident of victory even after the string of resignations. “We only need 45 votes out of the 60 that we command. The MLAs had held a meeting on July 25 in Gujarat, where 53 had promised their support,” he said.

He claimed that even the six MLAs who had resigned in the last few days and joined the BJP were reconsidering their decision. “Their conscience is awakening. I request them to not fall for people’s tricky ways and stick to loyalties,” the Congress leader said.

He also rubbished reports of a divided house and said there had been no disagreements among the legislators. “We are like a family, if we would have been individuals we would have got separated,” he said, assuring there would be no cross voting in the Rajya Sabha polls.

“We were being threatened by BJP in Gujarat. The BJP has used the CBI, ED and other institutions to target our MLAs. We came to Karnataka since Congress is in power here,” added the Congress leader.

“There’s no need for us to stay here for even a minute if they say they won’t threaten us. As soon as this crisis is resolved, we will all be back in our constituency working for our people,” Gohil said.

He said the developments of the past few days had shown that the BJP government in Gujarat is not concerned about the flood situations and only Congress is working in the affected areas. “BJP MLAs were not worried about the floods. They were busy trying to break the congress. BJP is nowhere to be seen,” he said.

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