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Gujarat bypolls | “Horse trading”: Congress demands probe by a sitting judge

Congress flag. File   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Ahead of the byelections to eight Assembly seats in Gujarat on November 3, the Congress on Monday demanded a court-monitored probe into allegations by a former party lawmaker that huge sums were paid by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to switch sides.

The Congress also played a sting video showing former Gujarat MLA Soma Patel purportedly confessing that ₹10-crore was paid by the BJP to defect from the Congress.

At a virtual press conference, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, former State party chief Arjun Modhwadia and AICC in-charge for Gujarat Rajeev Satav questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded a probe into the contents of the tape by a sitting judge.

Mr. Singhvi alleged that the BJP maintained a “war chest of enormous proportions” to poach Opposition MLAs, irrespective of election results.

“From Manipur to Goa, from Karnataka to Gujarat, time and again we have had this excessive greed for power, bordering on paranoia. We will win or lose the election but, we must be in power,” he said.

Mr. Modhwadia asked for a court-monitored probe by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court or High Court into the sting video.

“Where is the black money to pay off MLAs coming from? There should be a thorough independent inquiry into the video tapes. Since all probe agencies have lost credibility and become a part of the government, the probe should be carried out by a sitting Supreme Court or High Court judge and monitored by the court to bring the truth out,” he said.

“This fully exposes the BJP and it is a grave insult to public mandate,” Mr. Satav said.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 1:27:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gujarat-bypolls-horse-trading-congress-demands-probe-by-a-sitting-judge/article33005914.ece

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