Amid the Rajya Sabha Elections, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday launched a scathing attack on BJP and claimed that the elections being held for the upper house are 'forced' and 'unnecessary'. Earlier, CM Gehlot assured that the Congress Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are united and BJP has failed in its horse-trading attempts. Congress leader Sachin Pilot also made the same allegations against BJP and expressed faith in Congress and its allies.
Senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot claimed that the elections were forced by Bhartiya Janata Party, which fielded candidates beyond its capacity in the state assembly. Expressing faith in Congress and its allies, Pilot said he is "absolutely confident" that all three candidates will win with "more than expected votes."
"BJP has forced Rajya Sabha elections in the state. Earlier, candidates of the ruling party were elected unopposed to the Upper House, based on their number strength. But in some states, BJP has started fielding candidates more than they have numbers," claimed Pilot, as he arrived to cast vote at the Vidhan Sabha.
He also hit out at the BJP for "openly misusing" central agencies to "create pressure" on the Opposition during elections. "All central agencies - CBI, ED, Income Tax are being openly misused. Cases that have been shut down long ago against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are being opened again to create pressure on the Opposition. But these pressure tactics won't work. I am absolutely confident all three candidates will win with more than expected votes," said the former Deputy Chief Minister.
Nearly 40% of the votes for the Rajya Sabha elections have already been cast by 10.30 a.m. in Rajasthan. The voting started at 9 a.m. and continued until 4 pm. Counting will begin at 5 pm. The Congress has fielded Mukul Wasnik, Randeep Surjewala, and Pramod Tiwari, a prominent Uttar Pradesh politician, while the BJP has chosen former minister Ghanshyam Tiwari, who earlier was a vocal critic of former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje.
The Congress and the BJP are set to comfortably win two and one seats, respectively. The contest became interesting with the entry of BJP-backed Independent candidate Subhash Chandra, who is a media baron. Rajasthan has a total of 200 MLAs, including 108 of the Congress and 71 of the BJP.