Missing minister & MLA's letter leave Cong red-faced in R'sthan

Jaipur (IANS) It's a double whammy for the Congress party in Rajasthan as a state minister has been missing from resort politics since the last five days while the party is busy trying to put up a united face for the Rajya Sabha polls scheduled for June 19.

To add to its worries, a Congress MLA recently shot off a letter to All India Congress Committee general secretary Avinash Pandey questioning the necessity of opting for resort politics for two seats which he says the party will win in all circumstances.

In his letter, Singh said "We are sure to win two seats in Rajya Sabha. Never seen the entire party working unitedly for Rajya Sabha ever before. If we follow the same attitude for Lok Sabha polls, we shall deliver the best results in party's favour however what generally happens is exactly the opposite," he commented, adding, "No one will ever connect with each other after the election. The candidate who comes as winner in the polls will not be knowing those MLAs who had made him win the elections."

Singh requested the party officials to consider what he had said.

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Singh's letter has gone viral at a time when the party is struggling to reconcile the 'missing' status of its state minister Ramesh Meena who has not attended any of the meetings the party has been organising in the private resort where all its MLAs are camping to prevent their poaching.

Meena is known to be a supporter of deputy CM Sachin Pilot and has been vocal against Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot's style of working many times before.

While party officials were discussing his absence in whispers for the first two days, the fact came into the open when Congress observer TS Singh spoke to the media and said that Singh should have attended the meetings at the resort. "He has some responsibilities as state minister. However, we have sent his report to the party high command," he added.

Congress and independent MLAs are camping in a private resort in Jaipur after Gehlot accused the BJP of indulging in horse-trading to topple the Congress government in the state.

BJP state president Satish Poonia, on the other hand, rubbished all allegations by the Congress and said that the party is battling factionalism from within and is constantly blaming the BJP to hide its failures.

For the three vacant seats in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress has fielded two candidates, AICC general secretary in-charge of organisation KC Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi while the BJP has also fielded two candidates -- Rajendra Gehlot and Omkarsingh Lakhawat -- making sure that there won't be a unanimous win for the Rajya Sabha contestants.

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