Jaipur, June 16 (IANS) Rajasthan BJP President Satish Poonia on Tuesday hit out at the ruling Congress government, saying “those who engaged in elephant trading twice are now accusing us of horse-trading.”
Poonia was referring to the merger of 6 BSP (whose party symbol is ‘elephant’) MLAs with the Congress in the state, twice, first in 2009 and then in 2019 under the leadership of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Speaking to the media, Poonia said Gehlot would remember the incident when suitcases were called in from Haryana to prevent Bhairon Singh Shekawat from forming the BJP government in the state in 1993.
Later in 1996 when Shekhawat went to the US for his medical treatment, Congress again tried to topple the government by luring the MLAs. Shekahwat had to rush back to the state midway his treatment. “That time also, Congress tried to lure our MLAs. Gehlot was PCC president in those days and the entire plan was made by him. So, he must be remembering the same incident now,” said Poonia.
The BJP state president said independent MLAs have been put under lockup and are being stopped from come out and vote independently. The CM should reply to the public in this context.
He said over 300 people have died of COVID-19 in the state and thousands others have tested positive. However, the state machinery along with the CM was busy with cultural events and musical festivals in a five-star hotel. “People have been left to die”, he said.
Both Congress and BJP are following “political quarantine” in the wake of Rajya Sabha polls due on June 19. Gehlot has accused the BJP of indulging in horse-trading to repeat the MP story in Rajasthan.
Initially, Congress had sent all its MLAs to JW Marriott to prevent their poaching and on Tuesday, BJP too sent its MLAs to Crowne Plaza in view of Rajya Sabha polls.