Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil on Sunday said the Bharatiya Janata Party had tried to buy off its MLAs by offering Rs 15 crore ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections on August 8. The 44 Congress MLAs who were flown to Bengaluru on Friday night were present at a press conference on Sunday along with Gohil.
“The BJP is hitting below the belt,” Gohil said. “We are fighting to protect democracy. These MLAs chose to stand by the party even when they were offered Rs 15 crore.”
When questioned about the Congress MLAs staying at a resort in Bengaluru, Gohil said, “If our people wanted to live in luxury in a resort, they could have taken Rs 15 crore offered by the BJP and travelled across the world.”
Gohil said the decision to fly to Karnataka was taken by the MLAs who were allegedly threatened by the BJP. “We thought about where would we go, because the BJP is at the Centre and also in the neighbouring states, and that’s why we came to Karnataka where there is a Congress government,” he said.
Gohil also accused the BJP MLAs in Gijarat of not helping those who were affected by the floods. He said the Congress leaders had reached out to the people in Banaskantha. “BJP MLAs were not worried about the floods. They were busy trying to break the Congress,” he said
The Rajya Sabha elections
As many as six Congress MLAs in Gujarat, including party Chief Whip Balwantsinh Rajput, have quit the Congress to join the BJP. On July 29, the Election Commission had demanded a report from the BJP government in Gujarat over Congress’ horse-trading allegations.
The BJP has fielded Rajput to contest against Congress’ strong nominee Ahmed Patel for the Rajya Sabha elections. Besides Rajput, the BJPfielded party chief Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani for the other two Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat.