Khajuraho Part II: MLAs flown to Bengaluru

30 July, 2017, 01:23 | Author: Randy Kelley
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The Congress candidate will need the support of at least 47 MLAs to win and in such a situation if the Congress remains successful in keeping the rest of the legislators united, then Ahmed will not be hard.

Congress Chief Whip Balwantsinh Rajput, MLA from Siddhpur who quit on Thursday, is rebel leader Shankersinh Vaghela's close relative.

The only Muslim parliamentarian from Gujarat, Ahmed is considered a troubleshooter for Congress, and ensured that he remains a troublemaker for BJP.

The MLAs are now in a resort in Bidadi near Bengaluru.

Jolted by the exit of six of its lawmakers since Thursday, the party chose to shift 44 of its remaining 51 MLAs in the 182-set Gujarat Assembly to the city and prevent them from defecting to the BJP, the ruling party in the western state. But, what made the party jittery is the fact that 11 of its MLAs had voted for NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind during the presidential election.

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Earlier today, Congress state general secretary Nishit Vyas had claimed that the party had taken 44 MLAs to Bengaluru and they were lodged in a resort around 50 km from the city.

Fearing the worst after six Gujarat MLAs quit the party in the run-up to the Rajya Sabha elections on August 8, the Congress scrambled Friday night to keep its remaining flock intact by flying over 30 MLAs from Ahmedabad to party-ruled Bengaluru.

Rajya Sabha on Friday was disrupted by Congress protests over the "abduction" of one of their MLAs in Gujarat by police, saying the ruling BJP is "stealing" their representatives ahead of polls to Upper House. "These MLAs indeed called me seeking my advice but I never told them to resign and join anywhere", Vaghela, who quit as Leader of Opposition on his 77th birthday on July 21, said. He continued, "By misusing money power, muscle power and state power, MLAs are being asked to meet Amit Shah for changing their loyalty and vote by way of defections". Any increase in its tally here is what the BJP is trying hard ever since it came to power in 2014.

Another lot of resignations from the Congress shouldn't come as a surprise. As such, Patel enjoys a clout within the Congress leadership that is matched by no other party leader - with the exception of Sonia and her son, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

Vaghela further said that he would not give resignation as MLA till August 8.

"I think at least MLAs of Banaskantha district which is the worst affected by floods should not have gone on tour when people are facing hardships", he said.

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