Jaipur: Chief minister Ashok Gehlot has proved again that there is no match for him in Rajasthan when it comes to making political moves. He is believed to be the brain behind six BSP MLAs joining the Congress. With this merger, the tally of Congress MLAs in the state assembly has gone up to 106. Gehlot has strengthened not only the Congress’s position in state assembly, but also the party’s chances in the upcoming local bodies elections.
It is for the second time that chief minister Gehlot has pulled this off. Earlier in 2008, he persuaded the BSP MLAs to join the Congress when he was the chief minister.
Six BSP MLAs who joined the Congress are:
These six BSP MLAs met chief minister Ashok Gehlot at 9.30 pm on Monday and then submitted a letter of merger of the legislative party to Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi. The Speaker approved the merger.
The BSP MLA then reached the guest house at Rajasthan University and made an official announcement about the merger.
The BSP was extending external support to the Congress in Rajasthan, but the merger has further strengthened the party’s position in the state assembly. The party will also benefit in the upcoming local bodies election in the assembly areas of these BSP MLAs, sources said.
“Deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot distanced himself from the development. Pilot didn’t intervene in the whole affair,” said a senior Congress leader.
It appears that some of the BSP MLAs would be given cabinet birth and it may lead to some dissidence in the Congress.
Sources also said that chief minister Gehlot has been trying to persuade the BSP MLAs for a long time. In fact, the MLAs met chief minister Gehlot at his residence on Saturday evening.