Sunday, April 3, 2016

Jolt to rebels after 'dream'

Lucknow, April 1: The rebel Congress MLAs of Uttarakhand, who were whisked away from Dehradun at midnight on March 18, are back home but there is no certainty they will be granted entry into the BJP.

A Congress rebel said the group had no clue where they were headed when they boarded a flight from Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport along with 26 BJP legislators on March 18, the day they raised slogans against their own party's government in and outside the Assembly.

Eight Congress rebels spent the next day and night at a five-star hotel in Delhi. The BJP MLAs were also at the same hotel. Vijay Bahuguna, also a Congress legislator, stayed in his own house in Delhi.
The eight Congress rebels were shifted to a resort on Sohna Road in Gurgaon on March 20.

"Most of us had not experienced so luxurious a life as we did at the Gurgaon resort. There were excellent options for food, drink, spa and gym. It was like a dream life," the rebel MLA said on condition of anonymity.
The rebels were allowed to bring one friend or family member into their suites. The only condition was they would not venture out of the resort or invite any guest.

The MLA claimed they were taken to Delhi on March 26 to meet "some senior BJP leaders" who had files with all details about the Congress rebels.
On March 27, they were shifted to a five-star hotel in New Delhi, the MLA said. On their return to Dehradun yesterday, they were apparently welcomed back with band parties.

However, minutes after their arrival, they got a jolt when Uttarakhand BJP chief Ajay Bhatt announced that he was in no hurry to induct the rebels into the party.
"They are not in the BJP. Only those rebels who have a good image would be able to get entry into our party," Bhatt said.
One of the rebels, Shailendra Mohan Singhal, said over phone today that the group's first target was to convince voters they were no longer with the Congress.

"I am in Jaspur, my constituency, to serve the people and tell them I have distanced myself from the Congress," he said.
"Our next move depends on what the high court orders on our disqualification by the Speaker and President's rule in the state. The BJP leaders have not invited us into the party so far."
Harak Singh Rawat, the leader of the rebels, said two days ago he would be happy to join the BJP.

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