Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday defended the decision of six Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs to join the Congress.

Speaking to the media in Jaipur, Ashok Gehlot said the Congress part is not like the BJP. He said the Congress "did not try to buy" six BSP MLAs. "The decision to join the Congress was their own," Ashok Gehlot claimed.

"The BJP may have tried to buy the BSP MLAs. But we are not like the BJP. In Karnataka, the BJP broke our party to form government. They (six BSP MLAs) have collectively decided to join the Congress. Mayawati will have to understand that no one within the Congress government managed the BSP MLAs. They have joined on their own," Ashok Gehlot said.

Ashok Gehlot's defence comes in the wake of a series of tweets by BSP chief Mayawati who while expressing her anger over six BSP MLAs in Rajasthan joining the Congress, has blamed the Congress for this.

On Monday, the BSP suffered a major setback in Rajasthan when its six MLAs announced they are joining the Congress party. The six BSP MLAs met Rajasthan assembly Speaker CP Joshi and handed over a letter informing him of their decision.

The six BSP MLAs who have joined the Congress are: Rajendra Guda (MLA from Udaipurwati), Jogendra Singh Awana (MLA from Nadbai), Lakhan Singh Meena (MLA from Karauli), Wajib Ali (MLA from Nagar), Sandeep Yadav (MLA from Tijara) and Deepchand Kheria (MLA from Kishangarhbas).

After the 2018 assembly elections, the Congress fell short of majority by a thin margin. Mayawati, whose party had won six seats, extended her support to the Congress from outside i.e. BSP would support the Congress during floor test but not be part of the government.

With the six BSP MLAs joining the Congress, there are chances that some of them will now be accommodated in the cabinet.

Besides the six BSP MLAs, 12 Independent MLAs who had extended support to the Congress had joined the party earlier this year. With these 18 MLAs in its ranks, the Congress now has a comfortable majority in Rajasthan.
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