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Rajasthan Congress MLAs stay overnight at resort to thwart 'poaching bid'


Jaipur, June 12: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and nearly 100 Congress and independent MLAs stayed overnight at a resort on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, amid allegations that the BJP was trying to poach ruling party legislators ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls.

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The MLAs held discussions on Thursday for the June 19 Rajya Sabha polls. Party sources said the MLAs have been asked to stay at the resort amid poaching threat. Chief Minister Gehlot, who on Wednesday alleged poaching attempts on the Congress legislators, is looking after the arrangements at the resort.

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    "Eight-ten MLAs returned last night for personal and health reasons and they will come back today. Rest of the MLAs, around 100, stayed in the resort last night," Rajasthan government chief whip Mahesh Joshi said on Friday.

    A meeting of Congress Rajya Sabha candidates KC Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi with the MLAs will be held on Friday at the resort in the presence of other senior party leaders. For three Rajya Sabha seats from Rajasthan, the Congress has fielded two candidates, while BJP's two candidates have filed nominations.

    In the assembly of 200, the Congress has 107 MLAs, including six those who defected to the party from the BSP last year. The party enjoys the support of 12 of the 13 Independent MLAs in the state.

    The BJP has 72 MLAs and enjoys the support of three Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MLAs. The Congress has more than enough majority for the victory of both of its candidates.

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