Gujarat: Two more Congress MLAs leave party, total now five
Gujarat BJP President Jitu Vaghani welcomes Congress MLA Prahlad Patel to the BJP in Gandhinagar on Thursday. Photograph: (DNA)
Two more Congress MLAs from Gujarat have left the party, taking the total to five.
ANI reported that Mansingh Chouhan and Chhanabhai Chaudhary have resigned and handed over their resignations to the assembly speaker.
#Gujarat: Two more Congress MLAs Mansingh Chouhan and Chhanabhai Chaudhary resigned. handed over their resignation to the assembly speaker.— ANI (@ANI_news) July 28, 2017
I have received resignation of five MLAs so far: Ramanlal Vora, Speaker of Gujarat Assembly pic.twitter.com/F4aIWGPKNS— ANI (@ANI_news) July 28, 2017
Three Congress MLAs had earlier left the party and joined the BJP.
This comes just a few days after the Congress lost its tallest leader in the state, Shankersinh Vaghela.
And just a few months before Gujarat goes to the polls.
Gujarat is expected to go to the polls some time in November or December.
All three MLAs — Congress chief whip in the Gujarat Assembly and Siddhpur MLA Balwantsinh Rajput, Virmagam MLA Dr Tejshri Patel, and Vijapur MLA Prahlad Patel — said they were unhappy with the turbulence in the Congress.
The DNA newspaper quoted Rajput as saying, "I was with the Congress for 35 years and have served on different positions in the organisation and government offices as well. But, I was disturbed by the internal rift in the party, and the high command seemed least interested in resolving it. I also observed that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat and India have developed immensely. This inspired me to join the BJP. I will not demand a ticket and will handle what the party assigns me."
On Friday, Rajput filed his nomination for the Rajya Sabha (RS) election against the Congress's Ahmed Patel.
Gandhinagar:BJP President Amit Shah,Union minister Smriti Irani & Balwantsinh Rajput filed nomination for Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat pic.twitter.com/3K8vzXEfdL— ANI (@ANI_news) July 28, 2017
DNA reported that the Congress's ordeal will endure since it is almost certain to lose 11 more of its MLAs.
Should they do so, Patel is expected to lose the RS election.
BJP President Amit Shah and information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani also filed their nominations for the Rajya Sabha elections -- they too are fighting from Gujarat -- on Friday.