Congress expels 8 Gujarat legislators for cross-voting in Rajya Sabha polls
Congress leaders P Chidambaram, Ashok Gehlot, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mukul Wasnik and Anand Sharma outside the Election Commission of India, in New Delhi on August 8. Photograph: (PTI)
The Congress on Wednesday expelled eight legislators for violating the party's whip and voting for BJP candidates in the elections to the Rajya Sabha. The party said it would expel six more MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly) in the days to come.
The legislators, which include former Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela, have been expelled from the party for six years, Congress's Gujarat in-charge Ashok Gehlot said.
Vaghela had earlier resigned from the party but not from the House.
Eight Congress MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly) have already been expelled from the party. Six more Gujarat Congress MLAs to be expelled from the party for violating the whip in the Rajya Sabha polls," Ashok Gehlot told ANI.
The expulsion comes a day after the high stake Rajya Sabha election in which the BJP win two of the three seats to the Parliament's Upper House. BJP leaders Amit Shah and Smriti Irani won two seats while senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel won the remaining seat by a thin margin of 44 to 38 votes.
The election, which was frought with allegations of cross-voting, saw the nullification of the votes of two Congress legislators by the Election Commission after they showed their vote to a BJP agent in a clear violation of norms.
In the 182-member Assembly, 176 MLAs were eligible to vote after the resignation of six Congress MLAs - including Vaghela - ahead of the polls. The Election Commission
order reduced the strength to 174.
The Congress had 51 seats in the 176-member assembly. Only 43 MLAs of the party voted for Ahmed Patel who needed 44 votes to win.