JAIPUR: In a jolt to Mayawati, all six Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs in Rajasthan defected to the ruling Congress in a move that lends stability to the Ashok Gehlot government and is being termed as a “betrayal” by the BSP chief.
The defections have increased the tally of the Congress in the 200-member Assembly to 106. The Rashtriya Lok Dal, with one MLA, is an ally. Twelve of the 13 independents give it outside support.
With the MLAs switching sides, the angry BSP supremo was quick to call the Congress leaders as “cheats”.
“The Congress party in Rajasthan, by creating a split among the BSP MLAs, has once again proved that it is untrustworthy and a cheat,” she tweeted.
Ever since the Rajasthan Assembly elections last year, the Congress-BSP ties have been strained. The BSP had won six seats in the 2018 Assembly polls.
For the past nine months, the BSP MLAs have been in contact with Gehlot.
On Monday, all six BSP MLAs met Speaker CP Joshi and submitted a letter informing him about their decision to join the Congress.
Defending the BSP MLAs’ decision to switch over to the Congress, the Rajasthan CM on Tuesday said the Congress is not like the BJP.
He claimed that the party “did not try to buy” the BSP MLAs.
“The decision to join the Congress was their own,” Gehlot asserted.
The CM also reminded the BSP chief of a bit of history: “Mayawati should remember that we in the Congress at one time had agreed to be the junior partner to the BSP to help them run the government in UP. She should show some large-heartedness and realize that in different states the ground realities are different...”
The already strained BSP-Congress is bound to suffer more damage now even though it has put Congress government in Rajasthan on a firmer foundation.
Congress now has 106 MLAs in state
The defections of six BSP MLAs have increased the tally of the Congress in the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly to 106. The Rashtriya Lok Dal, with one MLA, is an ally.
Twelve of the 13 independents give it outside support.