After Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel on Tuesday wrote a letter to Rajasthan CM expressing mock concern about Congress MLAs taken to Rajasthan amid the Coronavirus outbreak, Ashok Gehlot has responded. Taking to Twitter, Gehlot said that the Congress MLAs have "strong immunity" as they have been fighting with the "tyrannical rule" of BJP in Gujarat. He added that the Rajasthan government is taking good care of the Coronavirus epidemic.
Dear Nitin Patel ji, Dy CM Gujarat our cong. MLAs have strong immunity as they have been fighting with tyrannical rule of BJP in Gujarat, be rest assured Rajasthan government is taking good care of Corona epidemic. Thank you for your concern.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) March 17, 2020
Earlier in the day, Nitin Patel urged Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi to get these lawmakers screened for the coronavirus when they arrive in Gandhinagar for Rajya Sabha voting on March 26.
BJP leader and Surat MLA Purnesh Modi demanded that on return, these MLAs should be quarantined for 14 days and even barred from the Rajya Sabha voting. Owing to fears of horse-trading, the Congress party has shifted most of its legislators to Rajasthan, where it is in power. Even the remaining MLAs who were not shifted were absent on Tuesday. According to reports, the House discussed proposals from the urban development and general administration departments.
The Deputy Chief Minister said in the House, "We have brought back people from affected countries like China, Japan, and Iran etc. But they (Congress MLAs) have gone from a safe place to an affected area. The Rajasthan government will be responsible if anything happens to them. Now that they have gone, we will have to get them tested on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border on their return."
"It is my responsibility to maintain their good health," added Patel. He then urged the Speaker of the assembly to get these Congress MLAs tested when they arrive in Gujarat Assembly for the Rajya Sabha voting.
In the 182-seat Gujarat Assembly, BJP has 103 seats, Congress 73, while two seats are with Bharatiya Tribal party and the Nationalist Congress Party has one. There is one Independent legislator as well. The Congress decided to shift its MLAs after the ruling BJP fielded three candidates though it can win only two seats out of four as per its strength in the Assembly. Two candidates from Congress have filed their nomination papers.