Two first-time Congress MLAs were suspended for an unprecedented three years while another party legislator was suspended for one year after the Gujarat Assembly witnessed ugly scenes with members of the BJP and Congress clashing in the House.
Amrish Der defeated BJP’s Hira Solanki by 12,719 votes in the Assembly elections from Koli-dominated Rajula seat in Amreli. Der, who runs a shipping business and belongs to the Ahir community, was contesting Assembly elections for the first time. The Ahir community forms the second largest electorate in Rajula. Der was earlier associated with the BSP and SP and had served as president of Rajula municipality from 2003 to 2005. He later joined Congress and was elected to Rajula municipality on a Congress ticket in 2013.
Pratap Dudhat defeated BJP candidate Kamlesh Kanani from Savarkundla seat by 8,531 votes and helped the Congress wrest the Assembly constituency from BJP. Dudhat had lost to BJP’s Vallabh Vaghasiya in the 2012 Assembly elections by a narrow margin. A native of Krakach village in Liliya taluka of Amreli, the first-time MLA runs a construction business in Surat. He is also an elected member of Amreli district panchayat.
Belonging to the OBC community, Thakor is one of the most vociferous Congress MLAs in the House. A legislator from Kalol constituency, 54-year-old Thakor, a three-time MLA, had defeated BJP candidate Atul Patel by a margin of nearly 8,000 votes. In the previous Assembly, Thakor was once suspended for the entire session when he tried to attack a BJP MLA in the House.