Rajya Sabha Polls: Amid Resignations, Congress Plan to Sequester Gujarat MLAs in Rajasthan Postponed

Representative image.

Representative image.

Congress sources had earlier said the plan was to shift all 65 MLAs to Rajasthan to guard the flock from "poaching" attempts by the BJP.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: June 9, 2020, 7:40 PM IST
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The Congress in Gujarat on Tuesday postponed the plan to get all its MLAs to neighbouring Rajasthan amid resignations from its camp ahead of the June 19 Rajya Sabha polls for four seats, party leaders said.

They claimed that some legislators had not reached resorts where they were supposed to assemble while others remained stuck in their constituencies. Some MLAs had gathered in Rajkot in Saurashtra, and a few in Abu Road in Rajasthan, they said.

Congress sources had earlier said the plan was to shift all 65 MLAs to Rajasthan to guard the flock from "poaching" attempts by the BJP.

After a meeting was held in a farmhouse in Umeta in Anand on Saturday, five Congress MLAs from central Gujarat left the venue, with two of them, Rajendrasinh Parmar from Borsad and Kanti Sodha Parmar of Anand, saying they were in their constituencies.

Balasinor MLA Ajitsinh Chauhan said he was leaving for his home in Mahisagar district and would be back after completing some work.

Out of four Congress MLAs from south Gujarat, only two have come together at the designated place in Valsad, while two others remained caught up in work in their constituencies, and are likely to join later, said Gaurav Pandya, senior Congress leader from Valsad.

"About 19 MLAs from Saurashtra region are together in Rajkot, while MLAs from north Gujarat have gone to Abu Road near Ambaji in Rajasthan as the area is closer to their constituencies," said Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani.

He said party MLAs have gathered at various places near their constituencies on their own, and several more will join later.

After the police on Saturday lodged an FIR against the owner and manager of Neel City Resort for allowing MLAs entry in violation of lockdown norms, Dhanani said, "We are staying as guests at a private property and this is not a resort."

"MLAs are joining each other in separate groups as per their convenience to discuss how to win the two seats for which we have declared candidates. Members remain scattered. There is no plan to bring them together right now. We still have 10 days to get together and draw a strategy for the RS

polls," said AICC Gujarat in-charge Rajeev Satav.

Twenty-one MLAs are in a resort on Abu Road. The Congress has fielded senior leaders Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki on two of four vacant RS seats, but now finds itself short of numbers to win both seats, as eight MLAs have resigned, five in March and three over the past few days.

The party's now has 65 legislators, while the BJP has 103 MLAs in the Gujarat Assembly, whose current strength is 172. The ruling BJP has fielded Abhay Bharadwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin.

While Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani will support the Congress, votes of one Nationalist Congress Party MLA and two Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) MLAs remain important.

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