JAIPUR: Even as the Congress has housed its MLAs at a private resort ahead of the June 19 biennial Rajya Sabha polls in Rajasthan, opposition BJP's ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) has accused the ruling party of "trying to lure RLP MLAs".
The RLP led by Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal has three MLAs in the Assembly, including Beniwal's brother. The party had formed an alliance with the BJP both in the last Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
Speaking to the media, RLP state President Pukhraj Garg said that the ruling Congress had tried to lure away the party MLAs by lucrative promises but the lawmakers had rejected the same."(Chief Minister Ashok) Gehlot has this misconception that they can merge any party into the Congress, as was done with the BSP lawmakers. However, the RLP has been formed after doing the ground work and we did not fall into the Congress' trap," he added.
All six MLAs of the Bahujan Samaj Party in Rajasthan had joined the ruling Congress a few months back. Party convener and Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal said that their phones were being tapped which is not a good sign for healthy democracy.
"There were rumours doing the rounds that our MLAs were supporting the Congress. In fact, the CM had scripted a drama under which he alleged that the BJP is indulged in horse-trading. The drama was produced and directed by the Rajasthan CM to present Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot as a villain, Beniwal told the media on Sunday after a meeting with BJP leaders to discuss the Rajya Sabha poll strategies.
The meeting was held at Leader of Opposition Gulabchand Kataria's residence here. Beniwal claimed that quite a few Independent and Congress MLAs were in touch with him and he had appealed to them to support the BJP.
Polls will be held for three Rajya Sabha seats from Rajasthan, with the Congress likely to win two seats. While the BJP has fielded Rajendra Gehlot and Onkar Singh Lakhawat, the Congress has fielded KC Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi.