New Delhi, July 31: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the political atmosphere in Gujarat was created to promote horse trading in the state. His comment came after more than nine Congress MLAs switched side to Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in the state. Congress leaders have alleged a hefty amount of money was offered to MLAs to switch sides. Also Read - Tamil Nadu Assembly Election 2021: AIADMK, DMK Continue Seat-sharing Talks, Fate of Sasikala to be Decided
The party added that the move was intended towards stopping Rajya Sabha member Ahmed Patel from his re-election. Patel presently represents the Bharuch constituency in the Upper House of Parliament. Also Read - Delhi MCD Election Results 2021 Updates: AAP Wins 4 Seats, Congress 1; Kejriwal, Sisodia Laud Victory
Earlier, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue of political situation in Gujarat, from where Congress shifted its MLAs to Karnataka fearing poaching allegedly by the BJP ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha elections. [Read: BJP Threatened Us, Offered Rs 15 Crore to Switch Over, Alleges Gujarat Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil] Also Read - Priyanka Gandhi Gets Late For Assam Rally, Runs To Stage; BJP Says 'Congress Always Late' | VIDEO
The ruling BJP has fielded three members including party president Amit Shah, union minister Smriti Irani and a rebel Congress MLA for the election. Ahmed Patel, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political adviser, is seeking re-election.
“The Congress MLAs are being put under pressure,” Kharge alleged amidst the protests and counter-protests by Congress and BJP members respectively. Congress chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia alleged that each of the Congress MLAs in Gujarat were offered Rs 15 crore in return of supporting the BJP. Both Kharge and Scindia wanted a discussion on the issue in the House.
However, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected the demand saying it was a subject relating to a state and cannot be discussed in the House.
(With inputs from PTI)