Worried over horse-trading of MLAs, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday shifted 95 MLAs to Jaisalmer. The Ashok Gehlot camp MLAs were shifted to Jaisalmer after a 19-day stay in a Jaipur hotel.
The shifted MLAs include independents legislators and allies, along with Congress MLAs. They were taken to Jaisalmer in three chartered aircraft.
MLAs to be kept in two hotels
The MLAs would be kept in two hotels in Jaisalmer—Hotel Suryagarh and Marriot till August 14. Notably, they will be brought back to Jaipur on August 14 when the much-anticipated Assembly session is going to begin.
Congress is anticipating fresh attempts of horse-trading by the Opposition and Sachin Pilot camp. Therefore, the party decided to shift the MLAs to Jaisalmer to keep the flock together.
Gehlot claims Rs 35 cr being offered to each MLAs
Notably, Ashok Gehlot had on Thursday alleged that the rivals with a view to woo Congress MLAs have increased the offering prices. He said Rs 30 to Rs 35 crores is being offered to each MLA to switch loyalty.
The Congress leadership felt that since the family members were allowed to meet the members, the rivals might use the family members as a conduit to woo the Congress MLAs before the August 14 session.
Gehlot camp claims support of 103 MLAs
The Ashok Gehlot faction has claimed that it has a support of 103 MLAs. But, as the governor announced the date for the Assembly session from August 14, the party suspected that the touts would now be more active to break away some of the MLAs by offering them a hefty never-before price.
Gehlot trying to woo rebels
Gehlot has sent feelers to the rebel MLAs currently camping in Manesar in Haryana and in Delhi to return to Congress’ fold. He has assured them that they will be given honourable re-entry. He particularly hinted at those MLAs who have not accepted any advance sum.
A senior Congress party functionary said that there are three to four MLAs, who did not accept any sum as advance and are now regretting their decision to side with Sachin Pilot. He said these MLAs want to stage a comeback to the Gehlot fold.
It is learned that the party leadership has given them the assurance that they would not be subjected to any disciplinary action.
Initially, it was decided to take the MLAs after the Id and the Rakhi festival to Jaisalmer, but fearing fierce horse-trading, the party decided to shift the MLAs to a safer Jaisalmer without any further loss of time. As a result, the MLAs will celebrate Id and Rakhi at Jaisalmer.
CM, senior ministers to stay in Jaipur
Some senior ministers have been allowed to stay in Jaipur to look after the administrative work. Also, the Chief Minister will be stationed in Jaipur and travel to Jaisalmer from time to time.
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