Rajasthan BJP challenges Cong to prove poaching allegation

Jaipur: A day after the ruling Congress in Rajasthan alleged that attempts were being made to poach its legislators ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, the state BJP on Thursday challenged the party to prove the allegation.

State BJP president Satish Poonia said the Congress was “putting strain on the party to cover up its failure”.

“It is surprising that those who played the game of horse trading for 55 years are blaming BJP. They have their internal differences,” Poonia told PTI.

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He said the Congress should prove the allegation that attempts were being made to poach Congress and independent legislators in the state.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday night claimed that some of the party MLAs were offered Rs 25 crore each.

Government chief whip Mahesh Joshi had moved a written complaint to the Anti-Corruption Bureau, seeking a probe into the “attempt to lure the public representatives in order to destabilise the state government”.

The Congress will again hold a meeting of the party and independent MLAs on Thursday evening at a luxury resort in Jaipur where it met its legislators on Wednesday.

AICC general secretary Avinash Pande and senior leader KC Venugopal will also remain present at the meeting.

The biennial elections for the three Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan are scheduled on June 19.

The Congress has nominated Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi for the elections while the BJP fielded Rajendra Gehlot and Onkar Singh Lakhawat.

In the assembly of 200, the Congress has 107 MLAs, including six who defected to the party from the BSP last year. The party enjoys the support of 12 of the 13 Independent MLAs in the state.

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