BJP delayed Rajya Sabha elections to buy time for horse-trading, claims Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

The CM and nearly 100 Congress and independent MLAs stayed overnight at a resort on Delhi-Jaipur highway amid allegations that the BJP was trying to poach ruling party legislators ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls.

BJP delayed Rajya Sabha elections to buy time for horse-trading, claims Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot
ANI photo

Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday (June 12) slammed the BJP and said that the Rajya Sabha elections could have been conducted two months back, however they were postponed for no reason because BJP's horse-trading was not complete.

"The Rajya Sabha elections could have been conducted two months back, but they were postponed for no reason. The Bharatiya Janata Party wanted to poach MLAs in Rajasthan, but failed and hence delayed the elections," CM Gehlot said here while addressing the media along with Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot.

Expressing confident that Congress would win the Rajya Sabha elections in Rajasthan, CM Gehlot said that the party is united in the state not a single vote of his MLAs will go to anyone else in the Rajya Sabha elections. "Our two candidates will emerge victoriously. Two CPI-M MLAs will support us in the election," he stated during the address. 

The CM and nearly 100 Congress and independent MLAs stayed overnight at a resort on Delhi-Jaipur highway amid allegations that the BJP was trying to poach ruling party legislators ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls. PTI claimed party sources as saying said the MLAs were asked to stay at the resort amid poaching threat.

Earlier on June 10, the CM had charged the BJP with attempts to destabilise the Rajasthan government claiming that some of the party MLAs were offered Rs 25 crore each. Claiming a heavy transfer of cash to Jaipur, Gehlot said there were reports about the BJP's plan similar to that of Madhya Pradesh and some of the party MLAs were offered Rs 25 crore in cash with Rs 10 crore in advance.

Ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections, Pilot had on June 11 expressed confidence of winning the seats and said that their candidates will win.

"Our party, MLAs from supporting parties and independent MLAs who are supporting us, all are united. We have more than the required number for the majority. Our Rajya Sabha candidates Neeraj Dangi and KC Venugopal will win," said Pilot.

Congress Chief Whip in the state Assembly Mahesh Joshi had on June 10 written to the Director-General of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) alleging that attempts were being made to destabilise the state government by luring his party's MLAs and independent MLAs who support the government.

A meeting of Congress Rajya Sabha candidates KC Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi with the MLAs will be held on Friday at the resort in the presence of other senior party leaders.

For three Rajya Sabha seats from Rajasthan, the Congress has fielded two candidates, while BJP's two candidates have filed nominations.

In the assembly of 200, the Congress has 107 MLAs, including six those who defected to the party from the BSP last year. The party enjoys the support of 12 of the 13 Independent MLAs in the state. The BJP has 72 MLAs and enjoys the support of three Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MLAs. The Congress has more than enough majority for the victory of both of its candidates. 

(With PTI inputs)