Money play in Gujarat, says Congress

BJP president Amit Shah is currently a Gujarat MLA

BJP president Amit Shah is currently a Gujarat MLA

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice on Friday after the opposition created a ruckus over the resignation of five Congress MLAs from Gujarat who later joined the ruling BJP in the state.

On Thursday, three MLAs - Balwantsinh Rajput, Congress Chief Whip and MLA from Siddhpur, Tejashree Patel from Viramgam, and Vijapur legislator P.I. Patel submitted their resignations and joined the BJP. Vora said that these three will not be able to vote in the Rajya Sabha elections due on August 8, as they are no longer members of the House.

With these resignations, the total strength of the state Assembly has gone down to 176, and Patel would need 46 of the 51 Congress votes to make his Rajya Sabha comeback. Vaghela is believed to enjoy the support of 26 of 57 Congress MLAs. Utilising this power, I propose the name of Balwantsinh Rajput for that."All the party leaders supported Shah's proposal to name Rajput as the third candidate".

Senior Congress leader B.K. Hariprasad alleged that the Prime Minister's Office was "directly involved" in Gujarat's developments.

Out of the 9 retiring members, four are from the Trinamool Congress, two from the Congress, two from the BJP and one from the CPI-M.

"To ensure that BJP is not successful in its mission, 44 of us Congress MLAs are leaving from Gujarat for Bengaluru", ANI quoted Gujatat Congress leader Shailesh Parmar as saying.

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"Those MLAs who will defect, not vote, leave their membership, join another party, cross-vote or hobnob - all of them are liable under the anti-defection law, which means for six years they can not vote and they can not be MPs and MLAs", the Congress leader added.

In a media statement earlier this week, Vaghela said that Patel had offered him a Rajya Sabha seat but he had turned it down.

He, however, said that the question of joining BJP does not arise at this point.

Ahmed Patel, political secretary of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on Wednesday filed his nomination papers from Gujarat for the Rajya Sabha polls.

It was alleged that Scheduled Tribe Congress MLA Punabhai Gamit, a three-time legislator, was being threatened and lured. He was forcibly detained and an attempt was made to give a bribe of Rs 10 crore with allurement to meet BJP president Shri Amit Shah. The Congress has steadily lost ground in the state in the last two decades of BJP rule, and Amit Shah has announced plans to increase the gap with a target of winning 150 of Gujarat's 182 assembly seats this year.

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