Dehra Dun, May 21 - BJP today accused ruling Congress of trying to poach its MLAs in Uttarakhand to get a seat vacated for Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, enabling him to enter the state Assembly.
"They (Congress) are eyeing our MLAs," Uttarakhand BJP President Bishan Singh Chufal told reporters here.
A BJP MLA is also "missing" and has been held "hostage" by the ruling party purportedly for the purpose, he alleged.
"The whereabouts of BJP MLA from Sitarganj Kiran Mandal is not known for the past one week,"
"His son has informed us that he is not in touch even with his family for the last two days. We fear that he has been held hostage by the Congress," Chufal said.
Mandal, who met the Chief Minister last week over land ownership rights to Bengalis in Sitarganj area, was told that the problem can be solved at the central level in New Delhi, he claimed.
"Since Mandal is a first-time MLA and has no knowledge of the issue, he agreed to meet the Congress leadership in New Delhi.
"But for the last seven days, his whereabouts are not known. We suspect that Mandal has been held hostage by Congress leaders, who wanted him to quit the MLA seat in favour of Chief Minister," he alleged.
The BJP has approached Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal to help trace the MLA, he said.
The Bahuguna government had failed to contain infighting within the party and none of its MLAs were ready to quit their seats for the Chief Minister, he alleged.
Chufal also charged the Congress of spreading information that certain BJP MLAs were in touch with the party and were ready to vacate their seats for Bahuguna, who has to contest the Assembly by-election to become an elected MLA by September this year.
All the five BJP MLAs, whose names are doing the rounds, have denied the reports, he said.
The Congress had won over the BJP by a whisker in the recent Assembly elections. While the ruling-party got 32 seats in the 70-member house, BJP won 31 seats.
Meanwhile, in a press statement, Vijaya Barthwal (Yamkeshwar) said that she was upset over reports of her quitting in favour of Bahuguna. PTI