Against the backdrop of five Congress MLAs quitting the Gujarat Assembly ahead of March 26 Rajya Sabha polls that has boosted the chances of the BJP winning three of the four seats on offer, the opposition party's Hardik Patel on Tuesday said those who betray people should be thrashed with slippers in public.
The Congress tally in the 182-member Assembly has come down from 73 to 68 after the resignations, leaving it doubtful of winning two seats, while the BJP, with 103 seats, and backing of three others, needs the support of just two more legislators to pick up a third seat.
Queried on MLAs indulging in horse-trading, Patel said, "The MLAs who betray people should be thrashed with slippers in full public view," he said, adding that the BJP was "buying out" legislators by giving them Rs 20-60 crore each.
Such MLAs visit the chief minister's bungalow to collect money, Patel alleged.
Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani, who has announced his support for Congress candidates in RS polls, shot off an open letter in which he said he was ashamed to be a legislator in an Assembly where MLAs have become commodities.
Mevani said he was not ready to accept that the MLAs resigned without money exchanging hands.
He also asked where the ruling BJP got Rs 50 crore to give to each MLA.
While BJP has fielded three candidates, Congress has fielded two candidates for four seats.
Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi had, on Monday, said that Congress legislators JV Kakadiya, Somabhai Koli Patel, Pradyumnasinh Jadeja, Pravin Maru and Mangal Gamit had resigned from the House.