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UPA MLAs from Jharkhand shifted to Raipur to `protect them' from BJP's poaching bid, says Bhupesh Baghel

Thirty-two MLAs of the JMM-Congress-RJD coalition in Jharkhand flew to Raipur by a chartered flight on Tuesday and were taken to Mayfair Golf Resort in Nava Raipur.

August 31, 2022 / 11:14 AM IST

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday said the UPA coalition government in Jharkhand shifted its MLAs to Raipur to protect them from being poached in view of the BJP's "horse-trading" tactics.

Thirty-two MLAs of the JMM-Congress-RJD coalition in Jharkhand flew to Raipur by a chartered flight on Tuesday and were taken to Mayfair Golf Resort in Nava Raipur.

Baghel met the MLAs at the resort on Tuesday night. He was talking to reporters on Wednesday morning at Swami Vivekananda Airport here before leaving for Himachal Pradesh where he has been appointed as senior observer by the Congress for the coming assembly polls.

"Alliance partners JMM and Congress in Jharkhand decided to bring their MLAs to Chhattisgarh to protect them considering the way the BJP has indulged in horse-trading," Baghel said.Recently three MLAs (of Congress in Jharkhand) were held in West Bengal (with cash).

The Election Commission has sent some letters to Jharkhand Raj Bhavan and it has now been a week, but that communiqu is yet to be opened. It indicates something is cooking inside," the Congress leader further said.Recently three MLAs (of Congress in Jharkhand) were held in West Bengal (with cash).

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On BJP leader Raman Singh's accusation that the Congress government in Chhattisgarh had turned the state into a "den of immoral acts," Baghel asked why he did not say anything when the MLAs of other parties in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan were shifted (to the states ruled by the BJP).

"He should have spoken at that time. Why is he worried when we have brought MLAs of our party and alliance partner? Is he worried about how they (BJP) would do horse-trading now? He should tell us about the talk of Rs 50 crore in Maharashtra and Rs 20 crore in Jharkhand (as the price for defection)," Baghel added. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has not come with the UPA MLAs.

The ruling UPA coalition has 49 MLAs in the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly. Soren's Jharkhand Mukti Morcha believes that the BJP may make a serious attempt to poach MLAs from it and Congress in a bid to topple the government in a manner similar to Maharashtra.

Following a petition by the BJP seeking Soren's disqualification from the Assembly in an office of profit case, the Election Commission sent its decision to state Governor Ramesh Bais on August 25.

Though the EC's decision is not yet made public, there was a buzz that the poll panel had recommended the chief minister's disqualification as an MLA.
PTI
first published: Aug 31, 2022 11:17 am
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