Horse trading: 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat pitch tent in Bidadi

Prime News, Karnataka, National, Bengaluru, July 29:- Forty-four Congress MLAs from Gujarat have been lodged at a private resort near Bengaluru after they landed from Ahmedabad on Saturday morning, a party official said.

The Congress, which has been jolted by the exit of six of its legislators in 24 hours, brought the MLAs to the city; the Congress ruled state, even as it accused BJP president Amit Shah of engineering defections in Gujarat by “money and muscle power.”

“All our Gujarat MLAs have been put up at the Eagleton Golf Resort in Bidadi on Bengaluru-Mysuru Road after they flew into the city in two batches from Ahmedabad via Mumbai,” Congress party sources said on anonymity.

The resort is situated in Bengaluru Rural Lok Sabha constituency – Kanakapura, represented by Congress MP D K Suresh, the younger brother of Energy Minister D K Shivakumar.

“Our party’s high command in Delhi directed us on Friday night to look after them during their stay in the state,” the sources said.

The MLAs were shifted, ostensibly to prevent rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from poaching them ahead of the Rajya Sabha poll in Gujarat on August 8. Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel is contesting for a fifth term in the election.

“We don’t have details on their programme and how long they will stay here. We have been told to take care of them,” added the official.

Jolted by the exit of six of its lawmakers since Thursday, the party decided to shift 44 of its remaining 51 MLAs in the 182-set Gujarat Assembly to the city and prevent them from defecting to the BJP, the ruling party in the western state.

Patel, political secretary to AICC president Sonia Gandhi, filed his nomination in Ahmedabad on July 26. He needs 47 preference voters in the first round for re-election.

–(NGB, Inputs: Agencies)



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