Ruling Karnataka Congress on Saturday claimed around 40 party MLAs from Gujarat came to Bengaluru on a pilgrimage, amid reports that they were whisked to the state to prevent their "poaching" by the BJP ahead of the Rajya Sabha election.
Shah's plan is to break the Congress rank and file's morale by engineering defections and also weaken its caste base. "In such circumstances, our MLAs decided that we should remain together and so they have gone to Bangaluru", Solanki had told reporters here on Friday night.
"The whole political game of wooing MLAs is going on at a time when two Nationalist Congress Party MLAs Kandal Jadeja, son of "godmother' Santokhben Jadeja, and Jayant Patel alias Boski, are unlikely to vote for Ahmed Patel".
The MLAs have been kept at a resort some 50 km from Bengaluru city, Vyas confirmed without divulging more details.
While Shah and Irani were nominated by the central leadership a few days back, Rajput, who was Congress' chief whip in the Assembly, was declared the BJP's third candidate shortly after he quit both from the House and the party yesterday.
Rajya Sabha witnessed an uproar on Friday as Congress MPs forced repeated adjournments of the House alleging that the Gujarat police had "abducted" an MLA in the state with an eye on influencing the outcome of the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls.
"They are leaving Congress due to the problem in the party".
This comes when the Rajya Sabha election is around the corner in Gujarat. The BJP, including one dissident legislator Nalin Kotadia, has 122 members, while Congress, including Shankersinh Vaghela, officially now has 51 legislators.
Addressing the media at party's state headquarters, Mr. Surjewala said that Election Commission should take cognizance of the incidents and must register a criminal complaint.
Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani are the other two BJP candidates for the August 8 RS elections.
Meanwhile, the BJP said that the decision of senior Congress leaders to quit the party shows that Congress is a sinking ship.
While Rajput could not be contacted on his phone, a person close to Vaghela said that Rajput's name was more or less confirmed for the Rajya Sabha candidate.
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