Gujarat MLAs exodus: EC seeks reply from Chief Secretary over allegations

| Updated: Jul 30, 2017 04:17 IST

New Delhi [India], July 29 (ANI): The Election Commission of India on Saturday sought an enquiry report from the Chief Secretary of Gujarat by Monday over the allegations made by the Congress over the resignation of their MLAs. The commission has instructed the state government to ensure proper security to all the MLAs and their family members in Gujarat. Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi had accused the BJP in the state of horse-trading ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections scheduled for August 8. Following this, Union Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad laughed off the accusation and said the Congress has become a sinking ship and is not able to hold their own house together. The developments came after at least six Congress MLAs in Gujarat resigned from the party to join the BJP. In this backdrop, as many as 44 of the grand old party MLAs left for Bengaluru late last night to ensure they don't succumb to police and political pressure to join the saffron party. Speaking to the reporters, Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar said, "To ensure that BJP is not successful in its mission, 44 of us Congress MLAs are leaving from Gujarat for Bengaluru. To hide their failure, the saffron party is trying to make sure our MLAs resign by offering money and through police pressure." Earlier in the day, the Congress said whatever is happening in Gujarat is a 'murder of democracy'. "This is a murder of democracy in Gujarat. First the MLAs were being threatened. Now their families are also being meted out the same treatment. What kind of a democracy is this? Such incidents never took place in the past," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said after meeting the Election Commissioner. Congress senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also, reiterating similar sentiment, said the situtaion of Gujarat is very saddening. "The Congress leaders are being bribed and being forced by the administration to resign. We are known as the world's greatest democracy and if in the prime minister's own state, the ruling party is doing such things, I think, nothing is more saddening than this," Azad said. Another Congress leader Anand Sharma said they way the Congress MLAs had to be taken out of the state is a black blot on the state government and the ruling party. "We will bring into the EC's notice how power, governance and the police are being misused. Money is being used openly in the state. There cannot be a greater violation. This is being done openly; it is an assault on the democracy - an open indulgence into corruption and violation of laws," he said. (ANI)