Congress, BJP lawmakers stay in five-star hotels as RS poll race tightens – The New Indian Express

Express press service

JAIPUR: With voting for Rajya Sabha elections just three days away, Congress and BJP are taking no chances in Rajasthan. While the Congress is more comfortably placed than a week ago, it is still facing problems from two Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) MPs who are staying away from Udaipur and not planning to vote for Congress unless demands related to tribal peoples are met. Meanwhile, the BJP also gathered all its MPs in a hotel near Jaipur. If the victory of its official candidate is more or less certain, for the saffron party it will be a setback if the independent candidate Subhash Chandra that the party has supported does not manage to win.

Many MPs who were strong with Chief Minister Gehlot during the crisis created by former Assistant Deputy Minister Sachin Pilot’s revolt two years ago are now adamant that their demands will be met. Among these are BTP’s two tribal MLAS, Rajkumar Roat and Ram Prasad Dindor, who laid down a set of conditions instead of giving their support ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections. In addition to the claims related to the tribal areas, the BTP deputies demanded the withdrawal of the cases related to the Kankari Dungri movement. BTP MPs said support would only be considered once their demands are met – for now their policy is to wait and watch. BTP MPs had backed CM Gehlot even in the previous Rajya Sabha elections and Sachin pilot camp rebellion. They had twice been herded with congressmen, but this time they fell short. Leaders close to the CM are busy persuading the BTP deputies.

Of 13 independent MPs supporting the government, 12 reached the resort town of Udaipur. Only Baljeet Yadav, an independent MP for Behror, is angry and not ready to go to the Udaipur barricade. He would have put in place strict conditions to vote for Congress in exchange for votes, without fulfilling which they refused to vote. Yadav requested the Gehlot government to put in place a reservation of 75% of Rajasthani youth in all jobs, but the government refused this reservation of local youth in private sector employment.

It is said that a party meeting of the congressional legislature will take place in a day or two. During this meeting, Pawan Kumar Bansal, the election in charge on behalf of AICC, TS Singh Deo and the three candidates Rajya Sabha Mukul Wasnik, Randeep Surjewala and Pramod Tiwari will be present.

As Congress MPs are staying at a five-star hotel in Udaipur, from Monday the BJP has also gathered its MPs at a five-star hotel in Jamdoli near Jaipur. The BJP has named it a training camp where all party MPs will stay until June 10.

A training session was held for MPs at the BJP state headquarters on Monday afternoon, attended by state chairman Satish Poonia, opposition leader Gulabchand Kataria and former chief minister Vasundhara Raje also attended. The MPs who took part were quickly sent to the five-star Devi Ratan hotel in Jamdoli, on the outskirts of Jaipur, until the vote for the Rajya Sabha elections.

Opposition leader Gulabchand Kataria said that this time Rajya Sabha elections are going to be very interesting as there is a fight going on in Congress itself. “The Chief Minister does not trust his MPs. This is why he has kept them in prison since June 2. Independent MPs have also distanced themselves from the government. Not only are we hopeful, but confident that this time BJP candidates will register victory in 2 seats,” Kataria said.

Voting for 4 Rajya Sabha seats will take place on June 10. This time 5 candidates are in the running in Rajasthan. The contest has become a hot one due to the stance of BJP-backed independent candidate Subhash Chandra. Victory of Congress in 2 seats and BJP in one seat is certain, but for the fourth seat both parties need the support of independents and small party MPs. Given the tight competition and fears of bargaining, deputies across the state will stay away from the general public until the ballots are held on June 10.

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