Gujarat BJP MLA Kesari Singh Solanki and 25 others were arrested late on Thursday night from a resort in Panchmahal district on the charges of indulging in gambling and stocking liquor. Those arrested include seven women of which four are Nepalese nationals. Police recovered six bottles of foreign-made liquors and gambling equipment from their possession. It is to be noted that Gujarat is a dry state, and consumption and trading of alcohol are banned. Solanki represents Matar assembly constituency in Kheda district of the state.
The arrest was made by the local crime branch (LCB) and Pavagadh police after they jointly raided the resort located at Shivrajpur area in Halol city of Panchmahal district. Authorities said they caught the accused while they were involved in gambling and drinking at the resort after receiving information about the same.
“We caught Solanki and 25 others gambling [at the resort]. We have also recovered alcohol bottles from them. The investigation is on,” said LCB inspector Rajdeep Singh Jadeja. The police officials have also seized eight vehicles in the raid. According to police sources, Solanki had reached the resort around Thursday afternoon and was accompanied by seven women.
Authorities continued their search operation throughout the night during which they confiscated the illegal items.
Solanki was also in news last year for speculations that he would cross vote in the Rajya Sabha elections. Rumours were rife in July 2020 that he could vote for Congress candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat. After the polls, he had developed fraught relations with the top BJP leadership.
Meanwhile, it would be interesting how the BJP would tackle this situation in Gujarat since the state would go to polls next year. BJP has been ruling the state for more than 20 years, and its majority was reduced during the last assembly elections in 2017 when Congress gave it a tough fight.