In the face of at least six Congress MLAs from Gujarat resigning from party, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Friday alleged that crores of rupees have been spent in horse trading in Gujarat by the BJP. Calling defection as a constitutional sin, Singhvi was quoted by news agency ANI as saying: “The anti-defection law is supreme, and repeatedly the Supreme Court has called defections a constitutional sin.” Singhvi also alleged that one Congress Gujarat MLA Punabhai Gamit has said he was offered Rs 10 crore by the BJP.
Singhvi’s remarks come at a time when the Congress has suffered a big jolt in two consecutive days as party MLAs Ramsinh Parmar, Mansingh Chouhan and Chhanabhai Chaudhary resigned on Friday, a day after three MLAs — Balwantsinh Rajput (Sidhpur), Tejashree Patel (Viramgam) and Prahlad Patel (Vijapur) — quit the party to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Also Read: Crisis deepens for Congress in Gujarat, sixth MLA quits
The spate of resignations was triggered by Congress veteran Shankersinh Vaghela’s exit from the party. The resignations of these MLAs also follows the cross voting by at least 11 Congress MLAs in the recently held presidential elections. The party has not identified any of the MLAs who cross voted.
The exit of the six MLAs, which comes just months ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections due in December, has reduced the Congress’s tally to 52 in the 182-seat assembly.While each Rajya Sabha candidate needs 47 votes to win, there is speculation that some disgruntled Congress MLAs may cross-vote in favour of Rajput. He will also get the BJP’s spare votes — the party has 120 MLAs.