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. Javadekar was reacting on Congress’ parading of its 44 MLAs in Bengaluru and its charge that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) offered Rs. 15 crore to Congress MLAs from Gujarat to desert the Congress. Talking to ANI, Javadekar said, “Congress only tries to save Rahul Gandhi by all means, no matter what happens to the party. Even in Gujarat, they have only one face, they only want to save Ahmad Patel. They don’t have the time to know what their MLAs want.”
He refuted Congress’ charge of horse trading and said that some of the Congress MLAs from Gujarat joined BJP because they had lost faith in grand old party. “All the people left the Congress because they wanted to do so and not because of money. Ram Singh is a leader of dairy movement, he does not need money. He himself left the party, because he knew the real face of congress,” Javadekar said. He also attacked Congress party for sending out its Gujarat MLAs to Bengaluru when the state is hit by floods.
“While the BJP led state government and forces were trying their best to save the flood affected people, the grand old party is busy doing press conference in lavish Bungalows in Bengaluru and accusing us of doing horse trading,” Javadekar said, and added it was like “the pot is calling the kettle black” as they ran away from Gujarat when the state is suffering from flood. The Congress Party earlier in the day accused the BJP of buying and threatening their MLAs in Gujarat for Rs. 15 crore and paraded its 44 MLAs who are camping here.
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Addressing a press conference here, senior Congress MLA from Gujarat Shaktisinh Gohil said, “Ask these MLAs the way they are threatened, they chose to stand by party even when offered Rs 15 crore.” He said BJP is doing horse-trading and we are trying to protect the democracy. “BJP is hitting below the belt; we are fighting to protect democracy . We have required numbers. There is no need for us to stay here (Bengaluru) for even a minute if they (BJP) say, they won’t threaten,” Gohil said.
Hitting back at the BJP, the Congress leader further said, “When there was flood in Banaskantha, my MLAs were there with people but no BJP minister, leader or chief minister was there.” Earlier, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had accused the Congress party of being insensitive and irresponsible, and said that they have sent their 40 MLAs to stay in a 5-star hotel in Bengaluru, while Gujarat is facing floods. Gohil further said that they have also managed to establish contact with seven Congress MLAs, who were reportedly inaccessible.
“Seven MLAs (Member of Legislative Assembly) are in our contact, their conscience is awakening. We have requested them not to come in people’s tricky ways, stick to the party,” Gohil Said. Earlier, the Congress had said that BJP is using “money, muscle and state power” to engineer defections, after at least six of its MLAs (Member of Legislative Assembly) had resigned from the party to join the BJP. The party on July 28 flew 44 of its MLAs to Bengaluru to stop more of them from switching over to the BJP.