After AIADMK in TN, Congress now 'resorts' to keeping 42 Gujarat MLAs in Bengaluru away from BJP's long arm
BENGALURU: Fearing poaching by the BJP, the Congress party has moved its 42 MLAs from Gujarat
to a resort in Bengaluru ahead of August 8 Rajya Sabha elections. Two more legislators are expected to join them at Eagletown resort on Mysore Road, around 22 kms from the city.
The party high command is determined to ensure victory of Ahmed Patel, political secretary to AICC president Sonia Gandhi. Patel is a candidate in the Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat. The party
had suffered an embarrassment with cross-voting by a section of its legislators in Gujarat during recent presidential elections and also resignation of some of its MLAs in last few days. All those developments and fear poaching by the BJP is said to have prompted the party’s decision to move its MLAs to the Congress-ruled sate.
Congress has 57 MLAs in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly. Six of Congress MLAs resigned from the party ahead of Rajya Sabha polls to (three seats) which is scheduled on August 8. On Saturday wee hours,
between 1.30 am to 5 am, 42 MLAs in different batches landed at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru.
Two more MLAs are expected to join the team by Saturday night.
Sources in the party said senior Congress leader and Energy Minister D K Shivakumar has been given the task. Currently, Shivakumar is away Singapore on a personal work and his younger brother and Bengaluru Rural MP D K Suresh, Congress MLC C M Lingappa , party leader Saleem Ahmad who is also additional special representative in New Delhi from Karnataka are taking care of Gujarat MLAs. Eagleton Gold resort that is located in Bidadi is located in Suresh’s Bengaluru Rural Loksabaha constituency.
Suresh told The New Indian Express “we are taking care of the the MLAs. They have arrived here late in the night and are taking rest at the resort. Today in the evening we will be taking them to a temple.” The MP, however, did not specify which temple they will be taken to. “The KPCC is only coordinating their
stay and other facilities and it is not paying for their expenses,” he added.
According to sources at Eagleton Resort, Gujarat Pradesh Congress has booked 35 delux rooms, each room costs Rs 8000 to Rs 10,000 per day. “As a package, it costs Rs 7 lakh per day for food, spa and other facilities.We do not know how many days they will be here,” sources said.