BJP is trying to topple Gehlot government, says Congress

Ashok Gehlot. File

Ashok Gehlot. File  

Attempts are being made to lure MLAs with money, says Congress Chief Whip

The BJP is trying to topple the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan, the Congress said on Wednesday evening, as it sought to shore up its defences. The party has 107 MLAs and the support of 12 Independents in the 200-seat Assembly.

Also read: Shivraj Singh Chouhan says Central leadership ‘ordered’ fall of Congress govt. in Madhya Pradesh

Mahesh Joshi, Chief Whip of the Assembly, said in a letter to the State’s Anti-Corruption Bureau that “attempts were being made to lure them [MLAs] with money power.”

The party has asked all its MLAs to be in Jaipur.

According to Congress sources, between 25 and 30 MLAs, including Independents, were approached by the BJP. There was no word from the BJP on the charges. The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh collapsed in March, and the coalition government in Karnataka, of which the Congress was a part, fell in July last year after MLAs crossed over to the BJP.

“When the country is facing a pandemic, the BJP’s interest is not in fighting it but in grabbing power. The Gehlot government is safe and stable. But this exposes the BJP’s unethical hunger for power,” said AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal.

“Like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka, in Rajasthan, our MLAs and Independents supporting us are being lured in an attempt to destabilise a democratically elected government, which is completely devoted to the service of people,” Mr. Joshi said in his letter without naming the BJP.

Also read: Two Rajasthan BJP MLAs booked for provocative remarks

Elections to three Rajya Sabha seats from Rajasthan are scheduled for June 19. The BJP can win only one with its current strength, but the party has fielded two candidates and upped the ante. The BJP has 72 MLAs and the support of six others. Congress MLAs from Gujarat are also being held in Jaipur ahead of the Rajya Sabha election in an effort to prevent them from crossing over.

The Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh fell after Jyotiraditya Scindia led a group of MLAs out of the Congress and joined the BJP. In Rajasthan, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot was a claimant for the top post when the party won the 2018 Assembly election.

Mr. Pilot, who was the party chief in the State, has resented the fact that his claims were overlooked.

He said on Wednesday, “We have the numbers. The government is safe.”

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 12:27:19 AM |

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