Stating that he had told Governor Kalraj Mishra that giving a 21-day window before calling the Assembly will “increase horse-trading”, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said the “rates” of MLAs have risen manifold after Mishra agreed to call the House session from August 14.
He told the media: “Ever since the Governor declared 14th (August, for the House to convene), the telephones have started ringing. We get news who is calling and what they are offering. They (MLAs) are being asked, ‘tell us what you want’…”
Gehlot maintained that earlier the “first installment” paid to MLAs — purportedly to buy their votes — was Rs 10 crore, “and the next” was Rs 15 crore. “You will be surprised to know that it is now unlimited. Now they are being asked, ‘tell us what you want’. It means that from 25 (crore rupees), horse trading rates have increased.”
“I am happy that the Governor agreed with me,” he said, but added that he had told Mishra to include the week spent exchanging letters to convince the Governor about the need to call a House session at the earliest while calculating the 21-day period.
On merger of the six BSP MLAs into the Congress last year — the BSP has moved the court in the case, calling it illegal — Gehlot said, “The BJP merged four TDP MPs (in Rajya Sabha, last year) into it overnight. That merger is correct but six MLAs merging with Congress in Rajasthan is wrong?” He accused the BJP-led Centre of “misusing” the Income Tax Department, ED, CBI to “scare and threaten everyone” and said, “Mayawati-ji is also getting scared of them and giving statements under compulsion.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines