In a show of unity, nine Congress MLAs from Saurashtra region held a joint press conference in Rajkot on Friday and declared that they were with the party even after Congress MLA Indranil Rajyaguru alleged that the BJP used money to lure some of his colleagues.
The joint press conference was held at Neel’s City Club on Kalavad Road of Rajkot and pledged their allegiance to their party. Rajkot (east) MLA Indranil Rajyaguru, Manavadar MLA Jawahar Chavda, Visavadar MLA Harshad Ribadiya, Mnagrol MLA Babu Vaja, Una MLA Punja Vansh, Palitana MLA Pravin Rathod, Amreli MLA Paresh Dhanani, Khambhaliya MLA Meraman Goriya and Wankaner MLA Mohammed Javed Pirzada were present at the conference.
Commenting on defections by Balwantsinh Rajput and two other MLAs of the Congress, Rajyaguru said that they had committed political suicide. “Some of our colleagues have committed political suicide. BJP has lured them by using money power and also by threatening police action. Some other MLA were also offered bribe but they turned it down. We all present here are with the Congress,” Rajyaguru said.
Pirzada claimed that he was also offered bribe to cross over to BJP but refused to reveal any further detail. Dhanani, who is also secretary of All Indian Congress Committee exuded confidence that party candidate Ahemad Patel will win the Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat.
However, Jasdan MLA Bhola Gohil who had also joined the group of MLAs at Neel’s City Club last evening left hours before the press conference and could not be reached for a comment. Similarly, Congress MLA from Jamnagar (north), Dharmendrasinh Jadeja was also not present. Jamnagar (rural) MLA Raghavji Patel, who told media earlier in the day that he was not happy in Congress was also not there.