Gujarat Congress faces another jolt as 3 of its MLAs join BJP
August 23 2017, 11:03 | Irvin Gilbert
The BJP is pulling out all the stops to win all three Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat for which elections will be held on August 8
Soon after Rajput joined the BJP, he was named as the candidate for the third Rajya Sabha seat, along with BJP president Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani, who are expected to win easily, given the BJP's strength in the Assembly. The tally is now five.
The two legislators who have quit today are Mansinh Chauhan, who was a minister when Mr Vaghela was Chief Minister of Gujarat and Sanabhai Chaudhary.
Congress earlier on Friday alleged that the Gujarat police had abducted its MLA in the state with a view to influence the upcoming elections to the Upper House. The issue also rocked the Rajya Sabha, which witnessed repeated adjournments as angry Congress members accused the BJP of "stealing" party lawmakers.
"The Congress MLAs are angry with their party and its ideology".
When Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien asked what he could do in the matter, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said: "You can direct the Election Commission for free and fair elections (in the state)".
The Congress on Friday blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for the resignations by the opposition party's MLAs in Gujarat and warned these legislators of consequences under the anti-defection law.
The Congress chose to confine its 44 Gujarat MLAs outside the state until Rajya Sabha elections are held in Gujarat.
The move by Congress comes in wake of six of its 57 legislators quitting party in last two days.
"Both leaders will contest from Gujarat, where three seats will fall vacant in September".
Within minutes of joining the BJP, Rajput was named the party's third Rajya Sabha candidate. "Nobody in the party listened to our voice and took note of our aspirations", Patel said.
It was alleged that Scheduled Tribe Congress MLA Punabhai Gamit, a three-time legislator, was being threatened and lured.
The three MLAs, known to be close to Vaghela, later joined the BJP in presence of the party's National President Amit Shah. Similar attempts to buy the loyalty of Congress MLAs Shri Mangalbhai Gavit and Shri Ishwarbhai Patel were made by misuse of muscle power, money power and state power. Recently Gujarat Congress witnessed cross voting in the Presidential elections when 8 of its MLAs voted for the NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind and then the resignation of Shankersinh Vaghela was a blow to the party.