Following the resignation of three MLAs in Gujarat, the Congress ahead of Rajya Sabha elections moved 21 MLAs to a private resort in Rajasthan on Saturday evening. The Rajya Sabha elections are scheduled on June 19.
The MLAs are from North Gujarat assembly constituencies and arrived in their personal vehicles. They are staying at Wildwinds resort on Abu Road near Ambaji temple in Rajasthan and are likely to stay for 3-4 days.
Recently, three Congress MLAs resigned - Brijesh Merja, Akshay Patel and Jitu Chaudhary - diminishing the chances of the Congress winning the second Rajya Sabha seat as its tally in the 182-member house now stands at 65.
Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda said, “Instead of working to help and save people from Corona crisis, the Gujarat government and its machinery is busy terrifying and trading public representatives. We have come here to discuss strategy ahead to ensure party candidates win.”
On the party’s new strategy to keep MLAs separately in groups, he said the MLAs are kept near their respective areas ensuring they have availability to their family or any important issue.
Gujarat MLA Gulab Singh Rajput said, “BJP needs to be ‘Atmanirbhar’, instead of using such means to get MLAs, they should have worked to get their party people elected. People will not forgive those who have left and joined BJP. It is under Congress banner the people voted them.”
He alleged that BJPis trying to break Congress MLAs by frightening and luring them.
Earlier, five Congress legislators — Somabhai Patel, Praveen Maru, JV Kakadia, Mangal Gavit and Pradyuman Singh Jadeja — had resigned in March.
The total strength of the Gujarat assembly now stands at 172. The ruling BJP party has 103 legislators, the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) has two and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has one. There is one independent legislator, Jignesh Mevani.
The Congress has fielded its senior leaders Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki, while the ruling BJP has named Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin as its candidates.