Amid suspense over whom the Bharatiya Janata Party will pick for the chief minister's post in Rajasthan, a visit by five party MLAs from Kota division to a resort on the outskirts of the city created a buzz.
The father of MLA Lalit Meena claimed the newly elected legislator from Kishanganj in Baran district had been confined there by the other four. After his father informed the party office, Lalit Meena was brought there on Wednesday morning.
The father alleged that MLA Kanwar Lal Meena forced him to stay at the resort saying it was the instructions of Jhalawar-Baran MP Dushyant Singh.
Dushyant Singh is the son of former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who is seen among the front runners for the post of CM.
Later, Kanwar Lal Meena issued a press statement refuting allegations. He said that the allegations against him and Dushyant Singh were baseless.
It was not immediately clear whether the other four stayed back at the resort on Sikar Road.
Lalit Meena, however, refused to elaborate on the incident, which is seen as a attempt at 'badabandi' -- holing up elected leaders in resorts as a show of strength while his father made the allegations.
The Kishanganj MLA's father Hemraj Meena claimed his son was called by another legislator, Kanwar Lal Meena, to the resort for a meeting and was not allowed to leave.
Lalit Meena then informed his father about the situation.
"When I got the call, I immediately informed the party leaders. We went to the resort where there was an altercation with Kanwar Lal Meena. However, we brought Lalit to the party office," Hemraj Meena told reporters.
When asked on whose directions the MLAs were staying there, Hemraj Meena said “Kanwar Lal Meena asked my son to stay there as it was the instructions of Dushyant Singh.”
Later in the evening, Kanwar Lal Meena issued a statement and said that the allegations were baseless.
“The allegation made by MLA Lalit Meena's father, Hemraj Meena, is completely wrong,” he said.
“We all are MLAs from Jhalawar-Baran Lok Sabha constituency, who after winning, along with MLA Lalit Meena, went to the RSS and BJP office in Baran.
"At 6 in the morning, we all came to Jaipur from our respective homes in our respective vehicles and stayed together in a hotel with our mutual consent. It is mischievous to say that it was a 'Badabandi',” he said.
“Can any MLA be taken forcibly without his consent? Impossible. And Dushyant Singh is the MP of Jhalawar- Baran. Who will hole up the MLAs of his own Lok Sabha constituency?” he said.
Elaborating on the incident, Kanwar Lal Meena said that 30-35 people came to the resort and tried to forcefully take Lalit Meena with them.
“Due to lack of familiarity, we did not send Lalit Meena with them. Later, when his father came, we happily sent Lalit with him,” he said.
He said that MP Dushyant Singh was in the Lok Sabha that day. “His presence can be seen in the Lok Sabha. He has been in Delhi since then. I did not talk to the MP during this period,” he said.
The five MLAs from the Kota division had checked into the resort on Tuesday night.
When contacted, Lalit Meena refused to divulge details. "Whatever happened that night, I informed the party leaders. The party is my family and it is our family matter," he told PTI.
Meanwhile, the Rajasthan BJP president CP Joshi said, "There is no 'badabandi'. The MLAs are in their constituencies,” he said, adding that any decision on who will be the chief minister will be taken after the legislature party meeting.
"The meeting will be called after the observers are appointed," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, two big posters showing Vasundhara Raje congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the party's victory in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were put up outside the residence of the former chief minister on Thursday.
Raje, an MLA from Jhalrapatan in Jhalawar district under the Kota division, reached Delhi on Wednesday night.
Suspense over the chief ministerial face in Rajasthan prevailed ever since the party swept the Assembly poll in the state, winning 115 seats.
Apart from Raje, Union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Arjun Ram Meghwal are considered among the frontrunners for the chief minister's post.