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Gujarat MLAs wait for high command's clearance

01 August 2017

Congress maybe in trouble.

The legislators have been flown here as the party is desperate to keep its flock together ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat on August 8. "They were busy trying to break the Congress", he said. The legislators will stay at the resort which offers many recreational facilities including a golf course, spa and swimming pools.

The Congress took the MLAs to the southern state, which it rules, after six of its 57 lawmakers in the Gujarat assembly resigned on Friday and Saturday. The Congress leader, who is overseeing the arrangements to keep the flock together, said the MLAs were anxious about the public opinion going against them. "We have requested them to stick to the party", he said. The BJP has been alleging that they are being forcibly held at a resort and are being feted with lavish amenities, that their cell phones have been seized by party leaders and they are not being allowed to meet anyone.

The decision taken by the Congress government on the basis of a Supreme Court order is a change of stance, since the previous BJP government had decided in 2012 to hand over the 77 acres to the resort for a regularisation fee of Rs 82.69 crore.

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Senior Congress spokesperson Ghulam Nabi Azad said Patel was contesting the Rajya Sabha election as a senior Congress leader. MLAs of both these constituencies, Joitabhai Patel and Dharshibhai Khanpura respectively, are among the 4 MLAs of Banaskantha who are not in their regions serving people but spending the days in a resort in Bengaluru.

The Congress said three MLAs - Punabhai Gamit (Vyara), Mangalbhai Gamit (Dang) and Ishwarbhai Patel (Dharampur) - were approached by "the BJP and its agents to defect in consideration of monetary allurements".

Asked about reasons for the Congress legislators leaving the party, Vaghela said they were leaving on their own.

As many as 36 Congress MLAs earlier this year supported Vaghela's nomination as the chief ministerial candidate for Congress, a proposal which was turned down by the party.

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Vohra furthermore slammed Congress for taking their MLAs to Karnataka when Gujarat is battling severe flood situation. On July 26 Patel filed his nomination in Ahmedabad to the political secretary of party President Sonia Gandhi.

Senior Congress members on Sunday, July 30, paraded Congress MLAs in Bengaluru in front of reporters and claimed that the BJP had offered 22 of them as much as Rs 15 crore each to switch parties.

The party demanded the constitution of a high-powered committee of independent persons/officers to enquire into the charges of money power, muscle power and blatant abuse of government machinery for purposes of engineering the defection and resignations of Congress MLAs.

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Gujarat MLAs wait for high command's clearance