Gujarat MLAs parade' before Governor Vajubhai Vala

BJP spreading canards that MLAs are being held captive by Ahmed Patel.

Bengaluru: Venturing out for the first time after a week's stay at a plush resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru, the 42 Gujarat MLAs put up a show of unity as they met Governor Vajubhai Vala and visited Vidhana Soudha on Saturday ahead of the Rajya Sabha poll, which is being contested by all powerful Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

Gujarat MLAs raised slogans, “Hum Sab Ek Hain, Hum Sab DKS Ke Saath Hain (We are united... We are with DKS), as soon as they saw Karnataka Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue at the Soudha. They had gathered to protest against the stone throwing incident targeting AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat on Friday. Sitting in front of the Mahatma statue, they chanted “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram”.

After meeting Mr Vala, who also hails from Gujarat, Gujarat MLA and AICC spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said that the BJP is spreading canards that party legislators were being held captive by Mr Ahmed Patel. “When we rejected the offer of Rs 15 crore made by the BJP to break us away from the party, we proved that we stood to defend democracy. We are here to expose BJP’s machinations," he said.

Shivakumar addressing the media 	 Satish B. Shivakumar addressing the media – Satish B.

Playing the victim card, he said that the BJP is using the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to target Congress MLAs. Training his guns on BJP leaders in Gujarat, he said, “If a national leader like Mr Rahul Gandhi is targeted in Gujarat, one can only imagine what would have happened to us if we had stayed back.”

Dismissing media reports and BJP's accusations that Congress MLAs were having fun at the Bengaluru resort, while people in their constituencies in Gujarat were suffering because of floods, Mr Gohil said, “If we wanted to have a good time, we would have accepted Rs 15 crore from the BJP and stayed at some fancy resort.”

On joining Mr Shivakumar near the Mahatma statue, Mr Gohil said, “We have been subjected to threats and pressures, but we will not succumb. The BJP wants to spread an atmosphere of fear. A politician and businessman (Mr Shivakuamr) takes care of us and he is subjected to three days of raids and questioning. This is unheard of.”

On the IT raids, he said, “If the officials were only interested in questioning Mr Shivakumar, why did they come to the resort and search? They could have asked him to step out and he could have been taken to his residence.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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