BJP-backed Independent candidate Subhash Chandra on Tuesday claimed that eight Congress MLAs may vote for him in the Rajya Sabha polls and asked former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot to also cross sides.
This would be an opportunity for Pilot to avenge his "humiliation", the media baron told reporters.
Mr. Pilot had rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot two years ago, plunging the Congress government in the State into a crisis. Following the rebellion, Mr. Pilot was removed from the posts of the Deputy Chief Minister and the State Congress president.
"This is an opportunity to take revenge or to give a message. If he misses this opportunity, he will not be able to become the Chief Minister till 2028," Mr. Chandra said as he claimed that Mr. Pilot is feeling "humiliated" in the party.
Apparently referring to the Congress, he said, "It is my guess that eight MLAs will cross-vote. They will cross-vote not because they have affection towards Mr. Chandra but due to the behaviour of the government and the kind of humiliation." The Independent candidate made the statement in the wake of the ruling Congress expressing fears of horse trading by the BJP ahead of the elections to four seats of the Rajya Sabha from the state.
While the Congress with its 108 MLAs in set to win two seats, it requires the support of Independents and legislators of other parties to win a third seat.
Mr. Chandra has the support of 33 legislators--30 of the BJP and three of the RLP--and is short of eight votes to win the contest.
The BJP with its 71 MLAs is set to win one seat.