National

Congress sends Surjewala to meet Rajasthan MLAs

NEW DELHI, JUN 11 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 6/11/2020 12:35:34 PM IST

The crisis concerning the Congress members in the Rajasthan Assembly ahead of the June 19 Rajya Sabha elections could be related to the party’s internal politics, a senior Congress leader said on Thursday.

However, with the first signs of trouble in the State on Wednesday, the Congress sent its chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala to Jaipur by a special chartered flight to reach out to the party MLAs.

Mr. Surjewala was appointed an observer earlier and had been to Jaipur once before but the latest developments have lent a sense of urgency in the Congress camp. However, a senior Congress leader claimed the crisis was a “manufactured one”, aimed at “projecting some leaders as saviours while others as working against the party”.

In the 200-member Assembly, the Congress has 107 members after six MLAs elected on the Bahujan Samaj Party ticket joined the party. Another 12 independent MLAs support the Ashok Gehlot government.

Though the ruling party is comfortable in terms of numbers, as 51 first preference votes are required to elect an MP, sources say, political rivals are trying to exploit a sense a disenchantment among a section of MLAs for fielding an ‘outsider’, former Kerala Lok Sabha member and party general secretary K.C. Venugopal, as one of the Congress candidates.

Neeraj Dangi, a Dalit leader close to Mr. Gehlot, is the other Congress candidate from the State.

With 72 MLAs, the BJP has sufficient votes to elect one candidate but it has decided to throw a challenge to the Congress by fielding Onkar Singh Lakhawat as its second candidate apart from its first choice, Rajendra Gehlot.

 

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