Gujarat MLAs will wait out storm in Bidadi resort

"Many of the Congress MLAs are of the opinion that they all should cross vote to show their displeasure for Ahmed Patel (the party's RS candidate)".

Congress is only concerned about Ahmed Patel and doesn't care about its other MLAs from Gujarat, said Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday. "Our party's high command in Delhi directed us on Friday night to look after them during their stay in the state", the official said.

"We are all here because the BJP has created an atmosphere of fear in Gujarat, luring legislators with huge amounts of money, misusing government machinery to threaten legislators", Congress MLA Paresh Dhanani told The Hindu.

Countering this, Gohil said 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.

Talking to mediapersons in Palanpur, Patel refuted Rupani's allegation that leaving Gujarat and moving to Bengaluru shows the "insensitive approach" of the Congress MLAs, at a time when the state is facing flood-like situation.

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Not confident of the loyalty of 42 Gujarat MLAs in its "custody" in a Karnataka resort, the Congress moved the Election Commission seeking action against state officers closely working with the ruling BJP in the run-up to crucial Rajya Sabha polls on August 8. The party has sent 44 of its legislators to a resort outside Bengaluru where they posed for camera before the media today.

"While addressing the media, Senior Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil said", BJP hitting below the belt; we are fighting to protect democracy". Gohil claimed that Congress has 60 legislators with it and ruled out BJP winning the third Rajya Sabha seat, polls for which are scheduled on August 8 in Gujarat. "When there was flood in Banaskantha, my MLAs were there with people but no BJP minister or leader were present", Gohil said.

He added that besides the 44 MLAs present in Bengaluru, seven other legislators are also in contact with the party as "their conscience is awakening".

"You have taken them (lawmakers) to Bengaluru. taken away their mobiles". "This is the internal problem of the Congress as its leader of opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela, its chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput and spokesperson Tajeshriben Patel have quit as they faced difficulties". In the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, the strength of the Congress has gone down to 51 from 57, following the resignations of six MLAs. Patel, political secretary to party President Sonia Gandhi filed his nomination in Ahmedabad on July 26. Two of the three Rajya Sabha seats are guaranteed for BJP's Amit Shah and Smriti Irani.

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