Ranchi to Raipur resort: UPA MLAs fly to ‘safe haven’ to thwart BJP’s ‘poaching bid’
Thirty-two MLAs of the ruling UPA in Jharkhand were moved from Ranchi to Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh and eventually to the Mayfair Lake Resort near state capital Raipur, fearing alleged poaching attempts by the opposition BJP to topple the Hemant Soren government.
An MLA who reached the resort said that he has not been given any direction on the further course of action, but he is expected to stay till September 4. “Some more MLAs will come on Wednesday and cabinet ministers may fly to Ranchi on September 1,” he said. Attend a cabinet meeting,” the MLA said.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who stayed in Ranchi, said he was “preparing a strategy” to handle the situation.
“We are ready to face any situation and we are working out a strategy to deal with it,” Soren told reporters outside Ranchi airport after sending off the team of 41, including 32 MLAs. You have seen a glimpse of that strategy before and are seeing it now. The ruling government will give concrete answers to the conspirators in the state.
Soren’s Chhattisgarh counterpart Bhupesh Baghel met the Jharkhand MLAs at the resort late Tuesday evening, hours after they landed in Raipur at 5.40 pm.
While this is the third time in the last one-and-a-half years that MLAs from several states belonging to the Congress and its allies have been shifted to Raipur amid suspicions of ‘horse-trading’, sources said an alternative location is also being explored, when needed. “Initially, Chhattisgarh said that they cannot handle all the MLAs, so we thought of going to Rajasthan. But we later got confirmation from Raipur,” said an MLA.
The state cabinet meeting is to be held on September 1 and ministers like Congress’s Rameshwar Oraon, and Badal Patralekh may return to Ranchi to attend it. JMM leaders like Basant Soren and Minister Mithilesh Thakur are staying in Jharkhand.
At the Raipur airport, Chhattisgarh Congress leaders Girish Devangan and Ram Gopal Agarwal met the MLAs, who were later taken to the resort about 11 km away in three buses.
While Chhattisgarh minister Ravindra Choubey said the state government was helping Jharkhand MLAs to “save the idea of democracy”, state BJP leader Gauri Shankar Srivas slammed the Baghel government. He tweeted, ‘Govt promised to ban liquor. Now they are serving liquor to the MLAs of Jharkhand from government resources.
Stating that the saffron party is ready to topple non-BJP state governments, Choubey told the media: “The BJP has started a new trend of destroying elected governments. After Maharashtra, their next target is Jharkhand. What is the harm in bringing them here, to give them (MLAs) security? We will do everything possible to protect democratic governments.”
In a House of 81 members (besides one nominated), reaching the magic figure of 42 may seem like a tall order for an opposition party that has 26 MLAs, but with Maharashtra freshman, CM Hemant Soren taking any chances. not ready to take. And amid murmurs of poaching in Ranchi, Soren is waiting until the Election Commission’s letter – on the BJP’s plea seeking his disqualification as an MLA in an office of profit case – is public.