Three senior Gujarat Congress legislators on Thursday resigned from the party and joined the BJP in a huff, expressing their anger against the Congress for ignoring their aspirations.
The two MLAs who have quit today are Mansinh Chauhan, who was a minister when Mr Vaghela was Chief Minister of Gujarat and Chhanabhai Chaudhary.
The desertion of MLAs from the Congress Legislature Party is worrying for the party ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls on August 8, especially in view of leader Ahmed Patel's bid for the Upper House. "The cross-voting in presidential poll revealed that Congress was losing its 11 MLAs".
Congress leaders are keeping their fingers crossed over Patel's victory as MLAs of Janata Dal (United) may, in the changed situations, not go his way.
Another Congress legislator Raghavji Patel said he was also planning to quit and join BJP.
In Ahmedabad, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel called the resignations a result of factionalism in the Congress and for choosing Patel again for a Rajya Sabha seat despite opposition in the ranks.
The three resignations from the Congress took place a day after its lone candidate Ahmed Patel filed his nomination for a fifth consecutive term, claiming Vaghela's support.
Asked why the Congress was not able to control its MLAs, Surjewala said like the three legislators present at the meet, those who had a firm faith in the partys ideology would not fall prey to the "money and muscle power" of the BJP. Although Vaghela had quit the Congress and announced his resignation as an MLA after the Rajya Sabha elections, he "technically" continues to be a Congress MLA.
"BJP is stealing our MLAs". People like an IPS officer who was behind bars for 8-9 years in fake encounter case are being used to kidnap our MLAs, offer money or threaten our legislators. Rajya Sabha is not the place to protest.
On Wednesday, Patel, who is widely credited with the party's performance in the 2004 and 2009 general elections, filed his Rajya Sabha nomination from Gujarat. He was forcibly detained and an attempt was made to give a bribe of Rs 10 crore with allurement to meet BJP president Shri Amit Shah.
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