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Rajya Sabha polls: Gujarat Congress moves all its MLAs to Rajasthan

Elections to four Rajya Sabha seats from the State are scheduled for June 19

The Gujarat Congress on Monday decided to shift all its legislators to party-ruled Rajasthan, in a bid to prevent alleged attempts at poaching by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the June 19 elections for four Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat.

It had earlier sent about 20 MLAs to a private resort in Rajasthan’s Abu Road town.

Abu Road, on the foothills of popular tourist destination Mount Abu, is situated adjacent to the Gujarat-Rajasthan border in Sirohi district. Following the resignation of three MLAs last week, the Congress had moved its legislators to different places, alleging that the BJP was indulging in horse-trading.

The strength of the Opposition Congress in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly has been reduced to 65 after the three legislators put in their papers. According to the party sources, the shifting of MLAs to a single place will facilitate finalisation of strategies by senior leaders for the Rajya Sabha polls.

The MLAs are likely to stay in Abu Road until just before the elections on June 19. Earlier, the Congress MLAs were taken to a resort near Jaipur in March this year when five legislators resigned. The March 26 Rajya Sabha elections were subsequently postponed because of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The BJP has questioned the Congress’s move, alleging that the party had violated the guidelines on reopening of hotels and shopping malls. “Why was the resort opened 48 hours before the lockdown relaxations and how was the gathering of legislators allowed?” asked Rajendra Rathore, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly.

The BJP’s Sirohi district unit has lodged a complaint with the police against the resort’s owner, accusing him of violating COVID-19 lockdown guidelines.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 4:56:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/resort-politics-gujarat-congress-moving-mlas-to-rajasthan/article31779837.ece

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