Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday targeted the BJP for supporting Subhash Chandra, who filed his nomination from the state for the Rajya Sabha elections as an Independent, saying the party wants to indulge in horse-trading as it does not have the numbers.
The BJP did the same 15 years ago but had to withdraw support because the independent candidate received no votes, the chief minister said.
Chandra on Tuesday filed his nomination for the Rajya Sabha elections as an Independent backed by the BJP. His tenure as a Rajya Sabha MP from Haryana will end on August 1.
Elections to four Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan will be held on June 10. The Congress has fielded three candidates — Mukul Wasnik, Pramod Tiwari and Randeep Singh Surjewala. The BJP has named former minister Ghanshyam Tiwari.
All the candidates filed their nomination papers on Tuesday.
Gehlot exuded confidence that all the three Congress candidates will win.
”We are going to win three seats. (I) don’t know why the BJP has played the game. They did the same 15 years ago but had to announce withdrawal of support because the independent candidate got no votes,” the chief minister told reporters outside the Assembly building after the Congress candidates filed their nominations.
”From where will they bring votes? They want to indulge in horse-trading. This is not a good tradition,” he added.
Gehlot said 19 Congress MLAs who had revolted against his government in 2020 are also with the party now. They were offered Rs 10 crore as the first instalment to leave the Congress at that time but they stood by the government.
Independents, MLAs of other parties like the CPI(M), the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) and those who defected to the Congress from the BSP played a key role in saving his government, he said.
”In such a situation, what can the BJP expect from them? They supported the government and stood firm and united,” he added.
On the Congress fielding leaders from outside Rajasthan as its candidates, Gehlot said there is an atmosphere of tension and hate in the country and therefore, the party high command has taken a decision considering all factors.
Party candidate Randeep Surjewala said one candidate needs 41 votes to win a Rajya Sabha seat.
The BJP has 71 MLAs. After 41 votes for Ghanshyam Tiwari, from where will the BJP get the additional votes needed to win the second seat, he asked.
Surjewala claimed the Congress has a total of 126 votes and 123 votes are required to win three seats.
In the 200-member Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, Congress has 108 MLAs, BJP 71, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party three, CPI(M) and BTP two each, Rashtriya Lok Dal one and there are 13 Independents.