Two more Gujarat Congress MLAs resigned on Monday to join the BJP, reducing the party’s tally to 50 in the 182-member Assembly. With this, as many as seven Congress MLAs have quit to join the BJP in the last one year.
While Congress MLAs Chhabil Patel, representing Abdasa Assembly seat in Kutch district, and Prabhu Vasava, from Mandvi in Surat district, resigned on Monday, sources said the BJP has approached at least three more MLAs from the party. One of them is reported to be an MLA from south Gujarat who is also Vasava’s close aide.
The BJP seems to be targeting MLAs from areas where it has no candidate or where it faces dissent.
Seeking to control the damage, the AICC general secretary in charge of Gujarat, Gurudas Kamat, is set to meet the party MLAs. Patel and Vasava, who did not attend the ongoing Assembly session, submitted their resignations to Speaker Vaju Vala. “I want Narendra Modi to become the Prime Minister and lead the country. By joining the BJP, I want to make my contribution,” said Patel, speaking to the media after his resignation. Originally from the BJP, Patel quit the party about 18 years back.
Vasava, on the other hand, has always been a Congress loyalist.
The other five Congress MLAs who quit earlier are Vitthal Radadiya (Dhoraji), his son Jayesh Radadiya (Jetpur), Jasa Barad (Somnath), Rajendra Chavda (Himmatnagar), Bavku Undhade (Lathi, Amreli).
The least number of women candidates have been fielded by the Congress which has given tickets to just five women contestants.