JODHPUR/NEW DELHI: About two
dozen Congress MLAs
were moved to a resort at Sirohi in Rajasthan on Sunday evening, fearing poaching by Gujarat BJP ahead of RS polls slated to be held on June 19. According to sources, these MLAs were among 65
who were shifted to three resorts in Gujarat’s Rajkot, Ambaji and Anand on Saturday. These two dozen MLAs were among those who were housed in the Ambaji resort, the sources said.
The MLAs have been moved to Sirohi’s Wild Winds resort, which is located on Gujarat-Rajasthan border near Ambaji. The sources said that Gujarat Congress made this move as it was thought that the MLAs would be safer in Congress-governed Rajasthan.
Meanwhile, Congress brass is livid with its state leadership for not taking adequate precautions despite evidence. Party sources said the party had specifically asked the state leadership to call a meeting of MLAs and to pack them in groups to safe places so that they were beyond the reach of BJP managers.
“The specific instruction was to hold a meeting the very first day after the announcement of RS polls and to huddle the MLAs together,” a leader said. The laxity in dealing with the situation earned rebuke from Delhi, following which the state brass has acted to now divide the MLAs in three groups and lodge them in different resorts. Congress had adopted this approach in the past in Gujarat.
Ruing the strategic gaffes and the embarrassment it has caused the pary, a party leader lashed out at the Gujarat PCC, headed by Amit Chavda. “The state leadership is weak. That is its biggest problem. While the temptations offered are too much to resist for many MLAs, we could have taken the obvious precautions, especially when there were clear instructions,” he said.