Ahmedabad, July 28 (IANS) Stunned by the exit of seven of its legislators in 24 hours, the Congress party on Friday accused BJP President Amit Shah of engineering defections in Gujarat by “money and muscle power”.
In a statement signed by five MLAs and AICC Media In-charge Randeep Surjewala, who rushed here from Delhi, the Congress said: “Hunger for power has made the rulers blind to the extent that Congress MLAs are being offered bribe of crores of rupees, election ticket and other allurements.”
“By misusing money power, muscle power and state power, MLAs are being asked to meet Amit Shah for changing their loyalty and vote by way of defections. This is disparaging to every constitutional norm, independence of the electoral process and majesty of democracy itself. All this is being done when Amit Shah himself is a Rajya Sabha candidate.”
It was alleged that Scheduled Tribe Congress MLA Punabhai Gamit, a three-time legislator, was being threatened and lured.
“He was forcibly detained and an attempt was made to give a bribe of Rs 10 crore with allurement to meet Amit Shah,” according to the statement which also has Gamit as a signatory.
“Similar attempts to buy the loyalty of Congress MLAs Mangalbhai Gavit and Ishwarbhai Patel were made by misuse of muscle power, money power and state power.
“It is the innate belief of these MLAs in Congress ideology and their impeccable integrity that deterred the conspirators and resulted into an absolute failure of their conspiracy to cause defections through allurements,” the Congress said.
Besides Surjewala and senior Gujarat leader and Congress MLA from Abdasa Shaktisinh Gohil, the statement has been signed by legislators Punabhai Gamit, Mangalbhai Gavit, Ishwarbhai Patel and Anand Chaudhary.