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Seven Congress MLAs who had defied the party whip in the recent Rajya Sabha polls tendered their resignations to the Gujarat Assembly Speaker on Friday. These MLAs, along with Shankersinh Vaghela, were removed from the party for six years on Wednesday, a day after the Rajya Sabha elections on August 8.
Confirming their resignations, Speaker Ramanlal Vohra said these MLAs were not quitting under any “threat, pressure, allurements of any posts”.
The MLAs who resigned are Amit Chaudhary from Mansa, C K Raulji from Godhra, Raghavji Patel from Jamnagar (Rural), Bholabhai Gohel from Jasdan, Karamshibhai Patel from Sanand, Mahendrasinh Vaghela from Bayad and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja from Jamnagar (North) constituencies.
According to sources, senior politician Shankersinh Vaghela, who had quit Congress on July 21, would resign from the Assembly after August 15 in full glare of the media.
After expelling these eight MLAs, Congress is also in the process of initiating legal procedures to debar them from contesting elections for six years under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act. With these seven resignations, the strength of Congress in the Assembly has reduced to 44. Earlier, six party MLAs had quit the party and resigned from the Assembly, days before the crucial Rajya Sabha elections in which Congress’s Ahmed Patel narrowly defeated BJP’s Balwantsinh Rajput, a Congress defector.