New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) The Congress is not "poaching" any Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member to ensure Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna's election to the state assembly as its own legislators were willing to offer their own seats, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Harish Rawat said Friday.
Rawat, who was also an aspirant to the post of chief minister, said the Congress was not "going for poaching".
"There is no question of poaching. But if BJP MLA (legislator) leaves (his seat) after feeling frustrated with his party's policies, how I can stop him," Rawat told IANS.
"As per my knowledge, our own MLAs are offering (to resign)," he said, adding that the chief minister will have "total backing" of the party in his bid to get elected to the assembly.
Rawat's anti-poaching remarks assume significance as the Congress has only a single seat lead over the BJP in the state assembly.
There is speculation that the Congress would seek to augment its strength by getting a "vulnerable" legislator from the opposition ranks resign his seat for Bahuguna to get elected.
Bahuguna, who was sworn in chief minister in March, has six months to get elected to the assembly. He is currently an MP from Tehri Garhwal.
Congress sources said stability of the party's government in Uttarakhand hinges on the bypoll to be fought by the chief minister as a defeat will lead to BJP emerging as the single largest party.
The Congress has 32 members in the 70-seat house against the BJP's 31.
There is also speculation that the BJP could field its former chief minister B.C. Khanduri against Bahuguna. Khanduri lost in this year's assembly polls and is perceived to have sympathy among voters.
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