The Congress on Wednesday charged the BJP with attempts to destabilise the Rajasthan government with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot claiming that some of the party MLAs were offered Rs 25 crore each.
Gehlot’s statement came hours after the Congress took its MLAs to a Jaipur resort for a meeting ahead of the elections to three seats of the Rajya Sabha in the state on June 19.
Claiming a heavy transfer of cash to Jaipur, Gehlot said there were reports about the BJP’s plan similar to that of Madhya Pradesh and some of the party MLAs were offered Rs 25 crore in cash with Rs 10 crore in advance.
But the party MLAs were 'alert and united', he said, adding that the condition of those who left the Congress to join the BJP was not good.
He also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that the Rajya Sabha elections were postponed under pressure because the BJP could not poach MLAs in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
About the meeting with the MLAs, Gehlot said it was fruitful and they will meet again on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, Congress' national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, who arrived in Jaipur to attend the meeting of the Congress MLAs and Independent legislators, said 'repeated assassination' of public mandate has become the BJP's character.
The BJP's conspiracy in Rajasthan will not succeed, he said, adding that the Congress MLAs are 'fearless', therefore, they are not going to fall into any temptation and the BJP will get the 'right reply' through democracy.
Stressing that the party has an absolute majority, he said no one can 'defeat the public mandate or democracy'.
Alleging a bid to poach the party MLAs and the independent legislators backing the government, government chief whip Mahesh Joshi too forwarded a written complaint to the DG, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
He sought action against 'identified' elements for the corrupt conduct and attempts for destabilising the government.
“It has come to my knowledge that like Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, attempts are being made to destabilise the government in Rajasthan,” Joshi said in the complaint.
However, he did not specify who is making the attempts.
ACB DG Alok Tripathi said action will be taken on the complaint.
Amid this, the MLAs who were called at chief minister's residence in the evening for a meeting for the Rajya Sabha elections were taken to the Shiv Vilas resort on the Delhi highway in Jaipur, where the meeting was held.
“The meeting was fruitful today. The MLAs were asked to go tonight and we will meet again tomorrow,” Gehlot told reporters after the meeting on Wednesday night.
AICC general secretary Avinash Pande and the party's Rajya Sabha candidate from Rajasthan K C Venugopal will also remain present in the meeting tomorrow.
On the other hand, state BJP president Satish Poonia said the Congress in Rajasthan is "feeling insecure".
"Their own house is not in order. They do not trust their MLAs," Poonia said.
The Congress has nominated K C Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi for the Rajya Sabha elections scheduled for June 19 while the BJP fielded Rajendra Gehlot and Onkar Singh Lakhawat.
In the assembly of 200, the Congress has 107 MLAs, including six those who defected to the party from the BSP last year. The party enjoys the support of 12 of the 13 Independent MLAs in the state.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine