In the last three months, a total of eight MLAs of the Congress party resigned in Gujarat that brought down the tally in the state to 65. Five MLAs resigned back in March while three resigned on 4th June just before Rajya Sabha polls scheduled for 19th June. Congress had blamed BJP for indulging in horse-trading to break their MLAs in the past. While it is evident that the internal politics in the Congress party is pushing away the “loyal” party leaders, instead of accepting their own mistakes, Congress is blaming others.
All MLAs shifted to Resort in Rajasthan
As per reports, the remaining Gujarat Congress MLAs have been shifted to Wildwinds Resorts at Abu Road in Rajasthan. Earlier, four Congress MLAs were seen at Ambaji that is close to the Gujarat-Rajasthan border. Gulab Singh Rajput, Congress MLAs, said that MLA would discuss the strategy for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.
Rajasthan: Some Gujarat Congress MLAs reached Wildwinds Resort at Abu Road yesterday ahead of upcoming Rajya Sabha election. Earlier in the day, 4 Congress MLAs were seen at Ambaji, near Gujarat-Rajasthan border. Elections to fill 24 Rajya Sabha seats will be held on June 19. pic.twitter.com/A3uu5RiHi8— ANI (@ANI) June 6, 2020
Gulab Singh added to his statement that no MLAs are going to leave the party. He accused of those MLAs who have left the party of “betraying the people”. They have disrespected people’s mandate and the party will never forgive them.
Strategy for Rajya Sabha election will be discussed here. No MLA is going to break away from the party. Only those who wanted to betray people, left the party. Those who disrespected people’s mandate & left the party won’t be forgiven by them: Gulab Singh Rajput, Congress MLA https://t.co/2WjM9pYu6L pic.twitter.com/5WfA3dwdM7— ANI (@ANI) June 6, 2020
Congress and the history of resort politics
This is not the first time the Congress Party is using resort politics to stop its MLAs from resigning. In March this year, Congress had tucked away its Madhya Pradesh MLAs in Rajasthan amid political upheaval. Eventually, the Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government toppled. In July 2019, during the intense power tussle in Karnataka, the Congress and the JDS had herded its MLAs in resorts to keep the flock together. However, the encampment of the MLAs did not help the Congress party as the BJP adroitly toppled the 14-month long Congress-JDS government in the state and formed its own government.
Before the Rajya Sabha elections in 2017, Congress airlifted all MLAs to a resort in Karnataka. At that time, Ahmed Patel’s nomination for Rajya Sabha was at stake. Before almost every floor test since 2014, Congress had to move its MLAs to a ‘safer’ location to avoid alleged “horse-trading by BJP.”
24 Rajya Sabha seats at stake
On 1st June, the election commission announced the date for the Rajya Sabha elections. 24 Rajya Sabha seats will be at stake in the upcoming elections on 19th June 2020. Out of these 24 seats, elections on 18 seats could not happen in the last couple of months due to lockdown. The remaining six seats will get vacant in June and July. Four seats will be filled from Gujarat while remaining seats are from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.