Sunday, March 3, 2024

Fearing poaching, Congress MLAs head to Hyderabad ahead of trust vote in Bihar

MLAs of Congress reportedly flew to Hyderabad on Sunday, in an attempt to prevent poaching by the BJP-led NDA, ahead of the trust vote in Bihar.

The move was made after Party leaders from Bihar met AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge in Delhi, who took control of the situation in the state.

State Congress president Akhilesh Prasad Singh and MLCs Prem Chandra Mishra and Madan Mohan Jha also took part in the discussions.

16 out of 19 MLAs of the Congress, the second largest constituent of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’, have attended the meeting and left for Hyderabad.

“The rest will also join them soon,” Bihar Congress President Akhilesh Singh told news agency ANI.

The MLAs are likely to stay in Hyderabad till February 11, according to party sources.

The development is similar to what the members of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha had undergone following a Chief Ministerial change.

Both states will be facing trust votes in the coming week as political parties worry about poaching attempts.

The INDIA bloc and Congress were baffled last month as they lost power in Bihar after key Opposition leader Nitish Kumar returned to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

Amid the brewing political crisis, the JD(U) chief took oath as Chief Minister last Sunday, marking the record ninth time.

The newly formed NDA government will have to go through a floor test on February 12.

The uncanny twist plotted by Nitish has sent tremors in the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ as well as the opposition INDIA bloc.

Adding to the trouble, seat sharing talks within the mega alliance have also been worsened.

Nitish’s move has sparked sharp criticism from political leaders and critics as they claimed the incident ridiculed electoral democracy in India yet again.

“I am not aware of Congress MLAs being flown into Hyderabad. But even if that is the case, it comes as no surprise in view of the BJP’s style of functioning,” CPI(ML) Liberation’s Dipankar Bhattacharya told PTI over phone.

“BJP has a proven track record (of poaching MLAs). As a result, all parties are extra cautious. The saffron party is never known to shy away from indulging in dubious tactics,” he added.

Responding to the media, Congress leaders said more than the BJP, they suspect Nitish Kumar and JD(U), of trying to poach its MLAs.

“The BJP and the JD(U) together have an absolute majority in the assembly. But, the JD(U)’s numerical strength is far lower than that of the BJP, a fact that has been annoying the chief minister for long,” a Congress official told NDTV.

Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party declared the names of 16 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The SP has offered 11 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh to the Congress.

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