The development follows a letter from Mahesh Joshi, Congress Chief Whip in Assembly, to the State’s Anti-Corruption Bureau in which he accused that ‘MLAs were being lured with money’

The crisis regarding Congress members in the Rajasthan Assembly ahead of the June 19 Rajya Sabha elections could be related to the party’s internal politics, a senior Congress leader said on Thursday.
However, with the first signs of trouble in Rajasthan on Wednesday, the Congress sent chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala to Jaipur by a special chartered flight to reach out to party MLAs.
The development followed a letter from Mahesh Joshi, Congress Chief Whip in the Rajasthan Assembly, to the States Anti-Corruption Bureau in which he accused that MLAs were being lured with money.
Though Mr. Surjewala was appointed an observer earlier and had been to Jaipur once before, the latest developments have lent a sense of urgency in the Congress camp.
Many of the MLAS were reportedly moved to a resort to prevent any possible poaching.
However, a senior Congress leader claimed the crisis was a manufactured one, aimed at projecting some leaders as saviours while others as working against the party.
In the 200-member Assembly, the Congress now has 107 members after six MLAs elected on Bahujan Samaj Party ticket joined the party. Another 12 independent MLAs support the Ashok Gehlot government in the State.
Though the ruling party is comfortable in terms of numbers, as 51 first preference votes are required to elect an MP, sources say, political rivals are trying to exploit a sense a disenchantment among a section of MLas for fielding an outsider, former Kerala Lok Sabha MP and party K.C. Venugopal, as one of the Congress candidates.
Neeraj Dangi, a Dalit leader close to Mr. Ashok Gehlot, is the other Congress candidate from Rajasthan.
With 72 MLAs, the BJP has sufficient votes to elect one candidate but the party has decided to throw a challenge to the Congress by fielding Onkar Singh Lakhawat as its second candidate apart from its first choice, Rajendra Gehlot.
For the ruling Congress, the Rajya Sabha elections are a prestige battle as Mr. Venugopal was handpicked by former party chief Rahul Gandhi himself and Mr. Dangi is close to the Chief Minister.
Any adverse development with regard to Mr. Venugopal will be a loss of face for Rahul ji. That is why Randeep Surjewala who is not only close to Rahul ji but also has a good rapport with the Congress MLAs in Rajasthan has been sent, said a Congress insider.
But the Rajasthan development lays bare the divide within the Congress, both in terms of the partys choice of Rajya Sabha candidates as well as factionalism between Mr. Ashok Gehlots supporters and those of Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, who also heads the Rajasthan Congress.
While the BJP wants to send a message to Vasundhara Raje by steering everything from Delhi, Mr Gehlot is trying to send a message to Delhi Congress leadership against the State Congress chief. Its all a well-planned exercise, said another Congress leader.