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Rajasthan political crisis | BJP shifts MLAs to Gujarat ahead of Assembly session

Rajasthan BJP MLAs reach Porbandar in Gujarat on August 8, 2020. Photo: Special Arrangement

Rajasthan BJP MLAs reach Porbandar in Gujarat on August 8, 2020. Photo: Special Arrangement  

In a new twist to the political drama in Rajasthan, the Opposition BJP has started shifting its MLAs, especially those from the tribal-dominated districts, to neighbouring Gujarat, alleging that the ruling Congress was trying to poach them ahead of a crucial State Assembly session, beginning on August 14.

Six BJP legislators left Japiur by a chartered flight for Gujarat’s Porbandar on Saturday, while 12 others left for Ahmedabad on Friday. From Porbandar, the MLAs were reportedly taken to Somnath where they will be staying at a hotel booked by the Gujarat BJP.

Also Read | Leave Haryana for talks, Congress tells rebel MLAs

Those who left for Porbandar were Nirmal Kumawat, Gopi Chand Meena, Jabbar Singh Sankhla, Dharmendra Kumar, Gopal Lal Sharma and Gurdeep Singh.

The action for sequestering MLAs was launched after former Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Vasundhara Raje met party president J.P. Nadda, general secretary B.L. Santhosh and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi to discuss the political situation in the State. Ms. Raje has maintained silence over the political turmoil and kept away from the party meetings in Jaipur.

Also Read | Ahead of Assembly session, Rajasthan Congress factions inch towards a truce

According to sources in the BJP, all the 72 MLAs of the party will be shifted to Gujarat, while the three MLAs of Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), supporting the BJP , will be sent to a different location.

Congress MLAs supporting Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot have been staying at a resort near Jaisalmer since the ruling party accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy to topple the government by horse-trading of MLAs. The legislators supporting the ousted Deputy CM Sachin Pilot, who staged a rebellion, are staying in Haryana.

Also Read | Why are questions being raised about the actions of Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra?

BJP State president Satish Poonia said the Congress was trying to influence the BJP legislators, particularly those elected from the Udaipur division, and spreading rumours about them.

“We decided that all of them should be at one place where they can be protected against harassment. They are depressed and tense,” he said.

Mr. Poonia, representing Jaipur district's Amber constituency, said the BJP Legislature Party was “intact” and its meeting would be convened shortly before the Assembly session. There was no distrust and all the legislators were united, which was proved during the recent Rajya Sabha election, he said.

The Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), which has sent two members from the Udaipur division to the Assembly for the first time, has extended support to Congress during the ongoing crisis.

The BJP, which won 15 seats from the tribal-dominated division in the 2018 election, has alleged that attempts were being made to lure its legislators since the issue of merger of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs in Congress was taken to the Rajasthan High Court. 

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 1:16:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/six-rajasthan-bjp-mlas-shifted-to-gujarats-porbandar/article32304277.ece

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