Bid To Induce MLAs In Maharashtra, Alleges Congress, Takes Them To Jaipur

The Congress have taken its MLAs from Maharashtra to Jaipur amid the BJP-Sena deadlock

New Delhi.Mumbai: 

After the Shiv Sena, it is the Congress in Maharashtra that has sequestered its MLAs. Many MLAs have gone to Jaipur in Congress-ruled Rajasthan, a senior leader confirmed on Friday, accusing the BJP of pursuing Congress MLAs in its attempts to reach the majority-mark.

“There have been attempts to lure Congress MLAs. We have asked everyone to record any phone call like this,” Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar told NDTV.

He claimed that “Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 crore” was being offered to MLAs to switch sides and quoted the Shiv Sena as claiming that its MLA was offered Rs 50 crore.

“All our MLAs are with us,” he said, adding that some 15 MLAs who had quit the Congress before the Maharashtra election wanted to return. “If they want to come back, we will definitely welcome them,” Mr Wadettiwar said.

While he admitted that some Congress MLAs were in Jaipur, he remarked: “Jaipur is a tourist spot… They may have gone to unwind after the hard work in elections.”

The BJP has denied allegations that it is trying to pull MLAs from other parties.

The Congress finished fourth in last month’s Maharashtra election with 44 seats in the 288-member state assembly.

The BJP emerged as the single largest party with 105 seats, and has a clear majority with its ally Shiv Sena (56 seats).

But the Shiv Sena has refused to drop its demand for a “50:50” deal, including two-and-a-half years of chief ministership, which it says was discussed with the BJP earlier this year, before the national election. The BJP has rejected any such deal and asserted that as the party with more seats, it deserves the top post.

The Sena yesterday moved many of its MLAs to a hotel in Bandra, Rangsharda, alleging attempts by the BJP to induce its lawmakers with bags of cash.

With the term of the Maharashtra assembly due to end tomorrow, the deadline for government formation is midnight on Friday.

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