Barely two weeks after it failed to make an impact in the Diu municipal council election, BJP has “lost” power in the Diu district panchayat with five of its seven elected members, including the president, deciding to quit the saffron party early this week. BJP’s Daman and Diu unit chief Gopal Tandel, however, said the resignations have not been accepted and the issue would be resolved soon.
Diu district panchyat president Shashikant Solanki, vice-president Ashwini Bamania and members Pooja Panjani, Dhaniben Solanki and Jentilal Somalal had tendered a joint resignation from BJP’s primary membership to Bipin Shah, the party’s Diu unit president on Monday afternoon.
While Shah accepted the joint resignation and forwarded the letter to Tandel, he too resigned as Diu unit chief hours later, accepting “moral responsibility” for the defeat of BJP in the municipal election.
In the Diu municipal council election held early this month, Congress had managed to retain power by winning 10 out of 13 seats. BJP won only three. On the day of the result, Kirit Vaja, vice-president of Daman and Diu state unit of BJP, had resigned, accepting moral responsibility of the defeat.
Speaking with The Indian Express on Wednesday, Shashikant said: “The party wanted me to step down as president of the district panchayat. However, I had support of the elected members. Therefore, we decided to leave… We are no longer with BJP, nor are we going to join any other political party right now. We shall continue to run the district panchayat as independents.”
With the resignation of its five members, BJP has effectively lost power in the Diu district panchayat. In the 2015 election to the panchayat body, BJP had won seven seats, while an Independent emerged victorious on one seat. Congress had drew a blank.
Those who resigned claimed the anti-defection law would not apply to them. “On BJP symbol, there are total seven members elected in Diu district panchayat and out of total seven members, we i.e above named five members have left BJP, which amounts to more than 2/3rd majority,” they stated in their joint resignation letter.
However, BJP’s Daman and Diu chief Tandel said no resignation has been accepted. “Shah, in his capacity as the Diu district unit president, has no power to accept resignation letter. Only, the state chief has the authority. Therefore, we have not accepted their resignation letters. Nor have we accepted resignations of Shah and Vaja. The matter will be discussed at upcoming meeting of the state unit,” Tandel said.