Days after the Income Tax department raided the residence of Karnataka power minister DK Shivakumar, Gujarat Congress MLAs on Saturday met Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala in Bengaluru and demonstrated their unity at the Raj Bhavan, reported ANI.
Gujarat Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil, after meeting Vala, who also hails from Gujarat, alleged that BJP was spreading lies about party lawmakers being held captive by high-command. He alleged that Congress MLAs were offered Rs 15 crore from BJP to break from the party but they rejected the offer as they "stood to defend the democracy".
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 5, 2017
Our MLAs helped people who are affected by floods: Shaktisinh Gohil, Congress pic.twitter.com/h7CiwqpMIv
— News18 (@CNNnews18) August 5, 2017
The Congress has holed up its Gujarat MLAs in the Eagleton resort to prevent defection and horse-trading ahead of the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls. The Congress had alleged that the BJP was using CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to target MLAs from their party. On 31 July, Shaktisinh Gohil had said, "BJP is using CBI and ED to target Congress MLAs. BJP threatened our families back in Gujarat, and that is why we came to Bengaluru of our own accord." On Saturday, Gohil said the BJP was ''playing dirty politics'' and added that if a national leader like Rahul Gandhi gets attacked in Gujarat, ''what would have happened with us if we would have stayed back?'' He said the party legislators are planning to return to Gujarat as soon as possible, but added that nothing has been decided yet.
Dismissing some media reports and BJP's accusations that Congress MLAs were having fun at the Bengaluru resort while people in their constituencies in Gujarat were suffering due to floods, Gohil said, "If we would have been here to enjoy, we would have accepted the Rs 15 crore offer from BJP and would have stayed at some fancy resort".
On 30 July, BJP had launched a protest against the Congress MLAs in Bengaluru and said that while flood was wrecking havoc in Gujarat, the legislators were sitting in a resort far away.
Countering this, Gohil had said that the MLAs were brought to the southern state after party leaders learnt about BJP's attempt to poach their MLAs using "money and muscle" power. He had added that the legislators would be shifted back if there were no threats from the BJP.
Attacking BJP over "false accusations'', Gohil on Saturday said when people in Gujarat were facing hardships due to the deluge, Congress MLAs were helping people but BJP was busy in trying to "buy" Congress MLAs.
In the run up to Assembly polls, which are due in Gujarat later this year, Congress' main leaders Shankarsinh Vaghela and Balwantsinh Rajput have left the party, creating a power vacuum.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Aug 05, 2017 14:06 PM