RS elections: Cong moves MLAs to Ahmedabad hotel, BJP appoints central observers

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By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar | Published: June 16, 2020 11:57:52 pm

Rajya Sabha elections, Ahmedabad hotel, Congress MLAs, Ahmedabad news, Gujarat news, Indian express news According to office-bearers of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), the Congress MLAs are being shifted to Ummed Hotel near Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

The ruling BJP and Opposition Congress started their final preparations for the Rajya Sabha elections scheduled on June 19.

On Tuesday, the Congress started moving its MLAs from three different locations to Ummed Hotel in Ahmedabad. The BJP, on the other hand, appointed two senior party leaders – Bhupendra Yadav and Ashish Shelar — as central observers for the elections to guide the MLAs for the elections at an event in Gandhinagar Wednesday.

Following resignations of eight of its MLAs ahead of the elections since March, the Congress had kept its remaining 65 MLAs in three camps in Rajkot near Anand, and in Rajasthan near Ambaji on the Rajasthan-Gujarat border.

According to office-bearers of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), the Congress MLAs are being shifted to Ummed Hotel near Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

“Our MLAs are being shifted to Ummed Hotel in different groups and by Wednesday morning, all 65 MLAs, including the party president Amit Chavda, will be there at the hotel till the polls,” said Jairajsinh Parmar, spokesperson, GPCC.

According to party sources, 20 MLAs from North Gujarat were shifted to Ummed Hotel by Tuesday afternoon and by night, majority of the 65 MLAs will reach there.

On June 7, after the resignation of three of its MLAs, the Congress moved its remaining 65 MLAs to two resorts, one each in Rajkot and Rajasthan, and a farmhouse near Anand. Congress leaders justified their decision alleging that it was done to keep their legislators away from poaching by ruling BJP.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Paresh Dhanani, leader of Opposition in Gujarat Vidhan Sabha, denied that Congress MLAs have been “stationed” in resorts.

“None of our MLAs are in resorts right now. Many of them were actively campaigning for the party and were involved in social activities all this time. For example, our MLAs from South Gujarat were staging dharna protest recently in Limbdi and in Saurashtra, 19 of our MLAs were also involved in party activities,” he said.

Meanwhile, the BJP has appointed national general secretary and Gujarat incharge, Bhupendra Yadav, and former party chief of Mumbai, Ashish Shelar, as central observers for the elections. A party release said that the two leaders will be on a two-day tour of Gujarat from Wednesday.

“The central observers will stay for two days in Gujarat and meet leaders and MLAs. They will also attend a meeting of party MLAs at Umiya Dham (in Gandhinagar) and give the latter guidance,” read the release.

For the elections to four Rajya Sabha seats, Congress has fielded two candidates – Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki – and BJP has fielded three candidates – Abhay Bharadwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin.

With the current strength of 172 of Gujarat assembly, each candidate needs to have at least 35 votes to win. With 65 MLAs, Congress is short of five MLAs to get victory for both its candidates, whereas the BJP requires 105 votes to have all three of its candidates win the election.

However, with 103 seats at present, BJP is short of two votes. Two votes of Bharatiya Tribal Party led by Chhotubhai Vasava and one vote of Natinoalist Congress Party have become crucial though nobody is certain who would gain these votes.

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