Gandhinagar: Opposition Congress on Tuesday walked out of the Gujarat Assembly accusing ruling BJP of indulging in largescale "poaching" of its MLAs ahead of Lok Sabha polls.
Amid the ruckus, the Assembly Speaker Vaju Vala suspended for a day 13 Congress MLAs for displaying placards with slogans like `how much money you have paid to buy Congress MLAs` and "Yeddyurappa in Karnataka and Modirappa in Gujarat", following which party members walked out in protest.
Congress is rattled by as many as seven of its MLAs -- five MLAs in last one month itself -- having switched their allegiance to BJP in the aftermath of 2012 Assembly elections.
After the resignations and death of an MLA, the strength of Congress in the 182-member House has now reduced to 54.
Congress members interjected the discussions on mining lease and Metro Rail project in Ahmedabad, raised by Mansa MLA Amit Chaudhary and Punam Parmar (Sojitra), respectively, during the question-answer session.
Congress legislators alleged that BJP was "poaching" their elected members through the money earned in corruption and offering them huge incentives and tickets, to win Lok Sabha polls by scuttling chances of Congress MLAs.
Chaudhary asked whether the Modi government would sack Agriculture Minister Babu Bokharia, who has been convicted by court in the mining scam.
Congress MLAs created a din on the question of metro rail network for Ahmedabad city, asking the government to explain the delay in execution of the project.
The MLAs then displayed placards, prompting the Speaker to suspend 13 of Congress MLAs from attending proceedings of the House for a day.
The Speaker then summoned marshals to escort the suspended MLAs out of the House, following which other legislators of Congress staged a walkout in protest.
The MLAs shouted slogans against the Modi government alleging corruption and cash exchanging hands for luring Congress MLAs to cross over to BJP.
"Like former BJP chief minister of Karnataka Yeddyurappa had paid money to Congress MLAs to resign to prove his majority, similarly the BJP government here is paying money to Congress MLAs to resign," the Leader of Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela told reporters later.
"It is unfortunate that despite having clear majority here, the BJP is trying to do such a thing by offering incentives to MLAs who are weak-minded," he said.
Meanwhile, two Congress MLAs, namely Chabbil Patel and Prabhu Vasava who resigned yesterday formally joined in BJP today.
Earlier, there MLAs Bauku Undhad, Jasa Bara and Rajendrasinh Chavda had crossed over to BJP.
Immediately after the 2012 polls, two MLAs Vitthal Radiada and his son Jayesh had shifted to BJP.