Gujarat Congress MLAs blame BJP for Bengaluru resort stay

Gandhinagar: Gujarat Congress MLAs, who were shifted to a private resort near Bengaluru on Friday night, slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for creating “an atmosphere of fear” in Gujarat, forcing them to move out of the State ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls to be held on August 9.The 40 legislators staying at the Eagleton Golf Resort have also unanimously conveyed that they were all with the party nominee and stalwart Ahmed Patel, who is facing a heated Rajya Sabha battle as the BJP has fielded former Congress legislator Balwantsinh Rajput, once Mr. Patel’s protégé.
“We are all here because the BJP has created an atmosphere of fear in Gujarat, luring legislators with huge amounts of money, misusing government machinery to threaten legislators,” Congress MLA Paresh Dhanani told The Hindu from the Bengaluru resort.
According to him, all MLAs had decided to move out from the State because of the BJP’s “dirty tricks” to torpedo Mr. Patel’s chances in the election for the Upper House.
“There is no truth that we were forced by the High Command and brought here against our wishes. We are all free and talking to our family and relatives,” he added. Another party legislator Gyasuddin Sheikh also concurred with Mr. Dhanani and told The Hindu that the saffron party will not succeed in luring any other member now.
Mr. Dhanani also lambasted Gujarat Chief Minister for his remarks that the Opposition party MLAs were enjoying a holiday in a five star resort while the people of the State were suffering in the floods that have devastated the Banaskantha and Patan districts.
“Mr. Rupani blames the Opposition party MLAs because his government has miserably failed to help the people stranded in floods, in which more than 100 people have died,” he said, responding to a series of tweets in which Mr. Rupani criticisede Congress legislators for being away from their respective constituencies.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat legislators staying at the Eagleton Golf Resort on the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway, at Bidadi, plan to embark on a pilgrimage from Sunday, after a day’s rest, with the State Congress playing host. On the arrangement made for the legislators, two-time Congress MP and brother of Power Minister D.K. Shivakumar, D. K. Suresh said, “They [the MLAs] are our guests. We will make arrangements to take our guests to famous temples and tourist places in the State from Sunday. The MLAs have taken a day’s rest in the resort.”
The resort charges about Rs.8,000 per room per day, including food and sporting facilities, according to sources.
After the arrival of the MLAs, security has been tightened at the resort and entry has been barred to journalists.

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