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Birthday celebration, orientation course for Gujarat Cong MLAs in Bengaluru

The 42 Congress MLAs were flown to the Karnataka capital to keep them safe from alleged poaching attempts by the BJP ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2017 17:20 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Congress,Gujarat Congress,Rajya Sabha Polls
Gujarat Congress MLAs at the resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru.(PTI)

The birthday celebrations will be subdued and the number of guests limited to a select few.

But for a group of Congress legislators from Gujarat, cooped up in a resort near Bengaluru, it will at least break the monotony of life away from the political heat and dust of their home state.

Besides, the 42 MLAs – who were flown to the Karnataka capital on Friday to keep them safe from alleged poaching attempts by the BJP – will also undertake an orientation course, Karnataka power minister DK Shivakumar said on Monday.

Sources said the course, organised by the All India Congress Committee, is likely to be on current affairs.

“In the evening, there will be a birthday party for the son of an MLA,” Shivakumar said.

The son of Kaminiben Rathod, the legislator from Gandhinagar, turns 10 on Monday. He accompanied his father to Bengaluru.

At least six of the 57 Congress lawmakers in the Gujarat assembly resigned on Friday and Saturday, days ahead of crucial Rajya Sabha polls on August 8. Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel is the party nominee for the polls to the Upper House.

Shivakumar said there was no plans for any entertainment programmes for the 44 legislators but added some of them had expressed desire to visit Tirupati, a revered Hindu shrine in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, around 250 km from Bengaluru.

“We are looking into that,” he said, amid a controversy over the choice of the resort by the ruling Congress for the Gujarat MLAs.

On Wednesday, the state Cabinet imposed a fine of Rs 998 crore from the Eagleton Golf Resort for allegedly encroaching on 77 acres of land.

“I was a part of that decision,” Shivakumar said. “We will not give any concession to the resort. It was chosen because it is outside Bengaluru and my brother is the local MP,” Shivakumar added.

Gyasuddin Shaikh, the legislator from Ahmedabad, told HT there were no plans to visit any place.

“We will be staying here,” he said.

The defections in Gujarat have reduced the Congress’ strength in the assembly to 51, but its vice presidential nominee Ahmed Patel still has the numbers to sail through.

Patel, the political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, will need the votes of 45 lawmakers.

The party hopes two Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) lawmakers will vote for him. Besides, rebel BJP lawmaker Nalin Kotadiya could also switch sides.

First Published: Jul 31, 2017 17:19 IST