• PTI

BJP wants to poach MLAs, backed Chandra for RS polls sans numbers: Gehlot

Udaipur, Jun 8 (PTI) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot once again on Wednesday accused the BJP of the horse trading attempt ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls and asked why the party backed media baron Subhash Chandra's candidature when it lacked numbers to win the seat.


He alleged that Chandra filed his papers as the opposition BJP's intention is to poach legislators of other parties ahead of the June 10 elections to four seats of the Rajya Sabha from the state.



Gehlot's statement has come a day after Chandra claimed that eight MLAs of the ruling Congress in the state may vote for him and asked former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot to cross sides.


The Congress is set to win two seats while the BJP is assured of one. Both parties need the support of Independent legislators and MLAs of other parties to win one more seat.


Days after the Congress shifted its MLAs to an Udaipur hotel fearing horse trading, Gehlot said the party and its MLAs are united, and all three Congress candidates will win in the Rajya Sabha elections.


"We have the support of 126 MLAs for three seats," he said referring to the support of legislators of other parties and Independents.



Questioning the BJP's support to Chandra, Gehlot said, "The intention of indulging in horse trading has been there from the beginning."


They backed the independent candidate even though they do not have the numbers to secure the seat, he said.


"Our MLAs are united and we are proud of the fact that earlier also when a political crisis came, the MLAs were united," he said apparently referring to a rebellion against him by party leader Sachin Pilot two years ago.


On the BJP writing to the Enforcement Directorate and the Election Commission alleging horse trading, Gehlot said, "The elections are there on the day after tomorrow and they are writing letters now. Actually, their conspiracy did not succeed. They are furious because they are failing in horse trading."


The Congress with its 108 MLAs in the 200-member state Assembly is set to win two seats. After winning the two spots, it will have 26 surplus votes, 15 short of the required 41 to win the third seat.



Congress leaders claim the support of 126 MLAs, including 108 from the party itself. The party needs 123 MLAs to win three seats.


The BJP has 71 MLAs in the state Assembly, enough to get one seat comfortably. After that, it will have 30 surplus votes, which along with three of the RLP are set to go to Subhash Chandra.


He will need eight more votes to win the seat.


To protect their MLAs from being lured by the rival parties, the Congress had shifted them to a hotel in Udaipur on June 2. The BJP has also shifted its MLAs to a resort on the outskirts of Jaipur in the name of a training camp.