Congress Takes Last ‘Resort’, In Gujarat’s Game Of Defections

Once again politicians are resorting to resort politics. This time, it was the turn of the Congress to pack off its legislators from Gujarat to a hotel on the outskirts of Bengaluru - just off the highway to Mysuru.

The Eagleton Resort is a golf resort with spa facilities and swimming pools. But the 40 MLAs, with their minders, may not be brushing up on their golfing skills. Instead, while they are expected to be sequestered here until closer to the August 8, the day when the elections for three Rajya Sabha seats will be held.
The MLAs have been brought for a lavish vacation in Bengaluru in a bid to keep them loyal to the party so that they dutifully elect Sonia Gandhi's political secretary, Ahmed Patel, to the Rajya Sabha.

The resignations of six Congress lawmakers in two days has jeopardised Mr Patel's election. Three have joined the BJP, in what is seen as an elaborate plan scripted by veteran politician Shankarsinh Vaghela to stall the return of Mr Patel.

The BJP, which has a big majority in the state assembly, has fielded its party chief Amit Shah and union minister Smriti Irani for the two seats it can easily win.
Congress lawmakers may also visit places that are relatively near to Bengaluru, like Tirupati or Kodagu.

Outside the gates of the resort a media contingent with cameras and OB vans is waiting for shots and possibly sound bites. The only view through the gates is a long driveway lined with trees. No buildings are visible from the gate - and certainly no MLAs.

Also camped outside the gates - a police van and police jeeps. Only employees, guests already booked into the resort and Congress members are being allowed inside.

The herded lawmakers are being monitored by DK Shivakumar, power minister in the Siddaramaiah cabinet, known for his organisational skills. 




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