Congress Gujarat crisis: Party alleges 44 lawmakers camping in Bengaluru bribed, threatened
Congress paraded 44 MLAs who are camping in Bengaluru. Photograph: (Twitter)
The Congress party on Sunday accused the BJP of offering the 44 lawmakers from Gujarat currently camping in Bengaluru Rs 15 crore in bribe and alleged that they were being threatened.
The 44 MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly) were flown by the party to Bengaluru to stop more of them from switching over to the BJP.
Senior Congress MLA from Gujarat Shaktisinh Gohil said at a press conference, "Ask these MLAs the way they are threatened, they chose to stand by the party even when offered Rs 15 crore."
The Congress leader said that the party had also managed to establish contact with seven Congress MLAs who were reportedly inaccessible.
"Seven MLAs (Member of Legislative Assembly) are in our contact, their conscience is awakening. We have requested them not to come in people's tricky ways, stick to the party," he said.
Gohil alleged that the BJP was horse-trading even while the Congress was trying to protect democracy.
"BJP is hitting below the belt; we are fighting to protect democracy. We have the required numbers. There is no need for us to stay here (Bengaluru) for even a minute if they (BJP) say they won't threaten," the Congress MLA said.
Gohil also defended the BJP's accusations that the lawmakers were staying at a high-end hotel in Bengaluru at a time when Gujarat was being ravaged by floods.
"When there was flood in Banaskantha, my MLAs were there with people but no BJP minister, leader or chief minister was there," the Congress leader said.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had accused the Congress party of being insensitive and irresponsible by sending 40 MLAs to stay in a 5-star hotel in Bengaluru during the floods.
The Congress had earlier accused the BJP of using "money, muscle and state power" to engineer defections, after at least six of its legislators resigned from the party to join the BJP.