New DelhiOpposition Congress on Monday claimed in Lok Sabha that its MLAs in Gujarat were being offered Rs 15 crore in return of support to the BJP and being forced by the ruling party in the state.
As soon as the House assembled, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue of political situation in Gujarat, from where Congress shifted its MLAs to Karnataka fearing poaching allegedly by the BJP ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha elections.
Ruling BJP has fielded three members including party president Amit Shah, union minister Smriti Irani and a rebel Congress MLA for the election.
Ahmed Patel, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political advisor, is seeking re-election.
“The Congress MLAs are being put under pressure,” Kharge alleged amidst the protests and counter-protests by Congress and BJP members respectively.
Congress chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia alleged that each of the Congress MLAs in Gujarat were offered Rs 15 crore in return of supporting the BJP. Both Kharge and Scindia wanted a discussion on the issue in the House.
However, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected the demand saying it was a subject relating to a state and cannot be discussed in the House.
In contrast, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday questioned the Opposition Congress for flying 44 of its MLAs to Bengaluru at a time when the state of Gujarat is reeling from floods.
Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “Gujarat continues to reel from floods, but Congress representatives are busy parading their MLAs. The time when Gujarat needed the Congress, its public representatives were not present.”
Naqvi further said that if the Congress MLAs are discontented with the party’s functioning, then it is not the BJP’s fault.
“If the Congress MLAs are unhappy with the functioning of the party, then it is not our fault. The situation in the Congress is disruptive. The public is rejecting the Congress. Their own MLAs are refusing to be a part of the party”, he said.
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