New Delhi, June 12 : With just a week to go for the Rajya Sabha elections, the Congress on Friday approached the Election Commission accusing the BJP of indulging in corrupt practices and demanded that no MLAs should be arrested or harassed till June 19.
Congress Treasurer Ahmed Patel and party”s Rajya Sabha MP Abhishek Singhvi approached the poll panel and submitted a petition to highlight instances of its legislators in Gujarat being lured and intimidated by the ruling BJP.
The election for the four Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat will be held on June 19.
In its petition, the Congress said it was sure of its victory in Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat and would bag two of the four seats as per its strength in the state legislature.
Fearing poaching, the Congress has moved its MLAs to resorts in the state as well as in neighbouring Rajasthan.
It said that after the nominations were filed in March, the BJP could have succeeded in getting five Congress MLAs to resign. For the protection of democracy as well as for their own safety, the Congress MLAs were moved to Rajasthan. In normal circumstances, the party could have managed to win 2 seats.
However, the scheduled elections on March 26 were deferred on the orders of the Election Commission. Therefore on March 24, all Congress MLAs were brought back from Rajasthan.
The party alleged that the BJP is now back to its old ways, resulting in the resignation of three Congress MLAs. However, no more MLAs could be pressured or managed from Congress, it said, asserting the ruling BJP has resorted to harassment of the Congress MLAs.
The Congress in its petition also cited an instance of one of its Gujarat MLAs Panjbhai Kunjbhai Vansh being subjected to harassment at the hands of the state government in an old case even when he did not have any criminal record.
“We very strongly apprehend that the ruling party is misusing the police machinery and is unnecessarily harassing the senior MLA. Further, we also strongly apprehend that with the help of police, the ruling party is likely to prevent the MLAs to reach the place of voting on June 19 by falsely implicating them in some criminal cases,” said the Congress.
“The tactic being adopted by the BJP is inexcusable and condemnable,” it said, adding the Congress wants the EC to issue orders or directions to ensure that no FIRs or cases are registered or reopened by the authorities, including the Gujarat Police, against Congress MLAs in the state without the approval from the Commission.
It also appealed to the poll panel to direct that no MLA should be harassed or arrested until June 19 on the grounds of false cases.
The Congress also urged the poll panel to ascertain protection and safety of its MLAs and ensure that the official machinery is not used for furthering the political interests of the BJP.