Rajya Sabha polls: Congress complains to ACB amid poaching fears

Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi said he complained to the ACB as "possibilities of horse-trading exist". BJP is backing independent candidate Subhash Chandra who doesn't seem to have enough votes

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

Prakash Bhandari

The Rajasthan Congress on Sunday submitted a complaint to the state's Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), alleging poaching attempts by the Opposition BJP.

The elections to four seats of the Rajya Sabha from the state are scheduled for June 10. While the Congress is set to win two of the seats, it requires the support of Independent MLAs and the legislators from other parties to win a third seat.

Congress chief whip in the state Assembly, Mahesh Joshi, said he complained to the ACB as "possibilities of horse-trading exist". "So, I have submitted a written complaint to the ACB to make such attempts unsuccessful," Joshi said.

He said if needed the state government will lodge a complaint with the Election Commission also. Joshi said he has not named any person in the complaint but it has been submitted so that the anti-graft agency remains alert.

"In corruption, both who give and take bribe are guilty. We will not tolerate any kind of corruption and not let horse-trading take place," he said.

"We are united and we will win three seats in the Rajya Sabha polls," Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on reaching Udaipur, stressing that they will foil plans of horse-trading this time too.

Gehlot said they gave a complaint to the ACB as an industrialist backed by the BJP is contesting as an Independent, apparently referring to media baron Subhash Chandra. As an Independent candidate, how is he going to get votes, Gehlot asked indicating the possibility of horse-trading.

The Congress had decided to shift the MLAs to Udaipur fearing poaching by the BJP, which apart from fielding one official candidate is backing media baron Subhash Chandra, who has filed nomination as an Independent.

The Congress has fielded Mukul Wasnik, Pramod Tiwari and Randeep Singh Surjewala for the elections.

The filing of papers by Chandra had earlier prompted Gehlot to allege that the BJP wants to indulge in horse trading. Gehlot said this as the Congress with its 108 MLAs in the state Assembly is set to win two of the four seats.

After winning two seats, the Congress will have 26 surplus votes, 15 short of the required 41 to win the third seat. On the other hand, the BJP has 71 MLAs in the state Assembly and set to win one seat, after which it will be left with 30 surplus votes.

(With PTI inputs)

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