New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday decided to move its 69 Gujarat MLAs to Mount Abu in Rajasthan where they are likely to stay for 24 hours in order to avoid cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha by-elections.
The party’s move was termed as “precautionary” to avoid the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) alleged attempts of luring MLAs. The party MLAs will be ferried to Abu on Wednesday evening and they will return in time before the scheduled by-polls.
“We will shift to Mount Abu by 4 pm today and are taking this precautionary step due to the pressure tactics of the BJP. Out of the 71 MLAs we have, 65 will stay in Mt Abu,” Gujarat Pradesh Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi told the Indian Express.
The Congress spokesperson also said that the gathering in Rajasthan will be fruitful in discussing the future course of action.
The decision was taken after discussions were held between Rajasthan by-polls in-charge Ashok Gehlot and Gujarat Congress in-charge Rajeev Satav, after the formers’ meeting with senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.
The Congress party had done a similar trick that worked in the party’ favour in August 2017 Rajya Sabha polls where 44 MLAs had flown to Bengaluru.
However, confident of winning both the Gujarat seats, the BJP bashed the decision saying that it is just a means for damage control arising out of internal conflicts in the Congress party.
The Gujarat Rajya Sabha by-elections will be conducted on Friday, July 5 to fill the seats vacated by leaders Amit Shah and Smriti Irani who Lok Sabha seats in the recently concluded General Election.