After nearly 10 days, 40 Gujarat MLAs return to Ahmedabad
Bengaluru: At least 40 Congress legislators from Gujarat, who were housed in a Karnataka resort, returned to their home state on Monday but were soon taken to a resort in Anand, near Ahmedabad, according to a senior Congress party official, who did not want to be named.
Paresh Dhanani, one of the legislators, had said on Sunday that they would be reaching Gujarat on Monday morning. Dhanani is the legislator from Amreli constituency.
This comes just a day ahead of the 8 August Rajya Sabha elections in which Ahmed Patel, senior Congress leader and close aide of party president Sonia Gandhi, will seek his fifth term in the upper house of Parliament.
At least 40 legislators from the Congress party were residing in Eagleton golf resort, outside Bengaluru, since 29 July, amid fears that they may be poached by rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Stung by a recent spate of resignations of its MLAs in Gujarat, the Congress moved into damage control and housed all of its elected legislators in a resort away from the state to avoid further defection.
Karnataka energy minister D.K.Shivakumar was tasked with organising all arrangements for the legislators. All 132 rooms in the 162-acre posh golfing resort were booked to ensure no outsider had access to the legislators.
However, the legislators did make brief appearances before the media to dispel reports that they were locked up on the high command’s orders.
While in Bengaluru, the legislators met with Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G. Parameshwara and other senior leaders. The state unit had organised talks, orientation programmes and other activities to keep the legislators engaged during their time at the resort.