Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma, Transport Minister Pratap Singh and  Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot share a table at the resort on Thursday.
Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma, Transport Minister Pratap Singh and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot share a table at the resort on Thursday.

Allegations flow fast and furious

Jaipur: Ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, Rajasthan Congress is sparing no effort to keep its flock safe. All party MLAs and independents supporting Congress have been moved to a luxury resort on the Jaipur-Delhi highway. A meeting of all MLAs was held on Thursday evening where CM Ashok Gehlot, Deputy CM Sachin Pilot, state incharge Avinash Pande, co-incharge Vivek Bansal and candidate KC Venugopal were present. Gehlot has gone on record to say their MLAs were being made offers but they are committed to the party.

Speaking to the media, Pilot said, “As the president of the party I wish to assure that all our MLAs and those supporting us are committed to staying with us. We have more than enough numbers and will ensure the win of both our candidates.”

Responding to the allegations leader of opposition in state assembly Gulab Chand Kataria said, “Such allegations are baseless when Congress itself is in power in the state. There are differences within the party. They should look into that.”

State BJP chief Satish Poonia challenged the Congress to put forth proof of allegations of horse trading by BJP.

Refuting BJP’s allegations Pilot added, “There is no factionalism in the party in Rajasthan. Also we have won every byelection held after our government has been formed. We will win this RS poll too. Yes we have gathered our legislators at a resort and this is to speak to them as this had not been possible during lockdown.”

On Wednesday evening the MLAs had been called for an urgent meeting at the CM’s residence where CM Gehlot met each one of them individually and told them they were being directly moved to Shiv Vilas resort on Kukas and they would be staying there till the Rajya Sabha elections on June 19. Some trusted MLAs had gone home at night and returned on Thursday.

How the numbers stand:

In the 200-seat assembly of Rajasthan, Congress has 107 MLAs. It has the support of 1 RLD MLA and 13 independents. 3 seats are up for election in Rajasthan. BJP can win only 1 unless it poaches into Congress votes. Both Congress and BJP have fielded 2 candidates each. Every candidate needs 51 votes for victory. Seeing the numbers Congress can win both seats while BJP can on its own ensure win of just 1 candidate.

Destruction of sinners virtue: Shivraj

Meanwhile in Bhopal, MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan apparently slammed the Congress, and without naming any leader said the destruction of sinners is a work of virtue. Taking to Twitter on Thursday, he wrote: “The destruction of sinners is a work of virtue. This is what our religion says. Bolo, Siyapati Ramchandra ki Jai!”

‘Was India unlocked to poach MLAs?’

New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday unlocked the ruling BJP’s “undemocratic agenda” of poachding MLAs in Gujarat and Rajasthan and asked: “Is this why BJP decided to unlock India at this time.”

In a tweet, it said: “When the focus should have been on providing help to migrant workers and improving health infrastructure to control COVID, BJP is busy buying MLAs. If the BJP succeeds, it may win one extra Rajya Sabha seat each from the two states, following it up with destabilising and overthrowing the Congress government in Rajasthan,” the Congress said.

Asserting that BJP has no respect for the democratic processes, it said: “BJP only wants to grab power by hook or by crook.” And, in support it cited a video of Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan on how the Congress government was brought down through defections in March. Chauhan has admitted in that video that “decision to topple Congress govt in MP came from central BJP leadership,” and “Jyotiraditya Scindia and Tulsi Silwat were vital for the plan to work.”

The silence of the BJP’s central leadership on Chauhan’s disclosure is a clear admission of the truth, the Congress added.

In another tweet, it said the BJP’s poll campaign goes on parallel to the Corona deaths. A government to be so insensitive to the deaths is not good for a nation. “India is suffering an insensitive BJP govt for the past six years, for which elections matter all -- pandemic and deaths too.”

--Our Bureau

Karnataka Congress chief gets CM nod for event

Shankar Raj / Bengaluru

After stonewalling the swearing-in ceremony of incumbent Congress Karnataka chief DK Shivakumar three times, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa finally gave a nod on Thursday.

The move comes after a huge backlash from the Congress for cancelling the permission without giving any reason. The event was planned to be held at KPCC HQ here with around 150 people and the event was to be broadcasted to party offices in the state.

Shivakumar put out a tweet on Thursday afternoon, thanking the Chief Minister for granting permission. He said a decision regarding the new event date would be decided after discussions with his party. “I am a responsible person, I have written to the Chief Minister regarding the event. I will follow all the guidelines correctly as per the government. It will be a workers' swearing-in ceremony,” DKS told the media.

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