The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has shifted at least 17 of its Rajasthan lawmakers to Gujarat’s Porbandar since Friday ahead of the start of the state assembly session from August 14 amid the crisis chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s government faces with his former deputy Sachin Pilot’s revolt.
The shifting of the lawmakers began on Friday, when 12 of them were sent to Porbandar. Five more legislators were flown on a chartered flight from Jaipur. BJP leaders said the Congress was trying to approach their legislators, especially those from Mewar’s tribal belt, to win their support.
“We had an input that the Congress was approaching our legislators in the Udaipur division through administrative officers and other influential people of the area. So we decided that they should all be at one place where they can be protected,” said state BJP president Satish Poonia. Another party leader said there was an effort to approach “weak legislators”.
“We alerted our MLAs [members of legislative assembly] before August 6 and told them to be together,” said BJP leader Gulab Chand Kataria, who is from south Rajasthan. “The Congress government is set to fall and the party is approaching our legislators for support. So we have to protect our people.”
The Gehlot camp has claimed the support of 101 legislators in the 200-member assembly. Eighty-six Congress, 14 Independents, and legislators from smaller parties supporting the ruling party are at two hotels in Jaisalmer. State Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra denied the BJP’s allegation. “There is no danger to our government and we do not indulge in horse-trading, which is an exclusive domain of the BJP,” he said.