JAIPUR: The political drama kicked off in Madhya Pradesh with the resignation of Jyotiraditya Scindia from the Congress is now having its next act in Jaipur. Amid fears of horse-trading, the Congress hurried 91 of its MLAs from Bhopal to Jaipur on Wednesday afternoon to protect its flock. After being brought in by a chartered flight, the MLAs are being kept at a luxury resort on the Jaipur-Delhi highway. After being warmly welcomed by Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot who fed sweets to them at the Jaipur Airport, the MLAs were rushed to the resort in plush buses.
Gehlot said the BJP was indulging in ‘shameless horsetrading’ and sinking political standards in the country to a new low. He asserted that the whole country was watching how democracy was being killed and hoped that the people would teach them a strong lesson.
Regarding Scindia’s revolt, Gehlot was quite sharp in his remarks, ‘‘There’s no honour that the Congress did not give him. The sooner such opportunists leave, the better it is for our party. He was given every possible post in the past 17-18 years. But now people will not forgive him for his opportunistic politics. The BJP is using money power and all unethical ways to grab power and even misuses CBI and ED to create pressure on people.’’
After Scindia's revolt, political circles say that Rajasthan might be next on BJP's radar, with Sachin Pilot, a close friend of Scindia, possibly taking the same route. However, Gehlot asserted, ‘‘BJP is misusing its money power to promote horsetrading. But their efforts will never succeed in Rajasthan.’’
Besides Gehlot, another senior Congress leader, Mukul Wasnik, went to meet the MLAs staying at the Jaipur resort. Amidst the crisis in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress high command has once again reposed its trust in Gehlot’s abilities. A few months ago, during the Maharashtra political crisis too, Congress MLAs were brought to Jaipur and kept under Gehlot’s protection.
Just like then, strict security is now in place for the MLAs from Madhya Pradesh, and Gehlot has deputed some of his most trusted aides like Mahesh Joshi and Dharmendra Rathore to prevent any poaching efforts at the resort. Gehlot also spoke to Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath regarding the arrangements at the Jaipur resort.
It's worth noting the MLAs are being kept at a resort which has all five-star luxuries from spa to swimming pool. A single room at the Buena Vista resort costs anywhere between 19K to 21K rupees a day according to online information and the cost of a villa here ranges from 18K to one lakh rupees a day. Last time around when the Maharashtra MLAs were put up here, media reports said that the party paid 26,000 rupees for each room.