Gujarat: Amid exodus, Congress flies out MLAs to Bengaluru

Ken Copeland
July 30, 2017

The official Congress candidate is Ahmed Patel but following a rebellion in the Congress, the party chief whip has switched sides and is the official BJP candidate along with national BJP president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani. The tally since Thursday is five.

Patel, Chaudhary and Chauhan are all believed to be close to rebel leader Vaghela, who quit as Leader of Opposition on July 21, alleging that there was an intra-party conspiracy to oust him from the Congress.

Asked why the Congress was not able to control its MLAs, Surjewala said like the three legislators present at the meet, those who had a firm faith in the party's ideology would not fall prey to the "money and muscle power" of the BJP.

The group checked-in at the resort amid a string of desertions by the Congress legislators in the western state, where Ahmed Patel, Congress president Sonia Gandhi's political secretary, is seeking a fifth term in the Rajya Sabha.

The resignation of six MLAs of Congress from Gujarat has anxious the party in the national level. According to party leaders, this does not mean that Raolji will not resign but is looking to renegotiate and then resign. "You have seen this naked drama.The policy of the BJP in Gujarat is - by hook or by crook, come to power by breaking all laws", he said.

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The resort is located in the Bengaluru Rural Lok Sabha constituency, represented by Congress lawmaker D.K. Suresh, younger brother of Karnataka Power Minister D.K. Shivakumar.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also suggested the Congress leaders approach the Election Commission for redressal of their grievance.

This after six Congress MLAs defected to the BJP in a span of 24 hours.

Senior leaders feel that Patel's defeat could finally force the Congress high command to wonder how it allowed things to reach such a pass in Gujarat. The decision was taken due to the fear of being poached by the BJP in the run-up to the Rajya Sabha election scheduled on August 8. "One Congress Gujarat MLA Punabhai Gamit has said he was offered Rs. 10 crore by the BJP to join hands with them".

Vaghela further said that he would not give resignation as MLA till August 8. Though Ahmed has remained out of government and maintained a low profile, he is a known strategist for the party and has always remained at the helm of affairs in Congress. "For Rajya Sabha elections, they are using police", Azad said. Vaghela has resigned as LoP but has said would resign as MLA after the Rajya Sabha polls.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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