A day ahead of the Congress Working Committee meeting in Ahmedabad, party MLA Vallabh Dharaviya joined the BJP after resigning from his legislative membership.
Dharaviya was the fourth MLA to quit the Congress in less than seven days and switch to the BJP. With his resignation, the Congress has been reduced to 71 seats in the assembly. The party had won 77 seats in 2017 assembly elections.
Along with Dharaviya, former Congress MLA Parsotam Sabariya also joined the ranks of the BJP, a day after the Election Commission announced the dates and schedule for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
“I am joining the BJP to develop my constituency. I was not under any pressure and have resigned from the Congress voluntarily. As far as the FIR is concerned, the law will take its own course. The BJP has to do nothing about it. I am not joining BJP to get any post or for other benefits,” Sabariya told reporters.
“Dharaviya has resigned as Jamnagar (Rural) MLA. He told me he is resigning voluntarily,” Speaker Trivedi confirmed. Sabariya had resigned hours after senior Congress leader Jawahar Chavda resigned as MLA Friday and switched sides to the BJP on March 8.
The long list of resignations began in July 2018, when senior Congress MLA Kunvarji Bavalia left the party. He was then inducted in the BJP government as a cabinet minister. Last month, the first-time MLA from Unjha seat of Mehsana, Asha Patel, resigned from the House and party and joined the ruling BJP.
Patel had claimed that her representations regarding the state of affairs in the Gujarat unit have not been heeded since last year. “I had taken up the matter with AICC general secretary and party’s Gujarat in-charge Rajeev Satav, and also senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel in Delhi, but my efforts yielded no results,” she said.
On Tuesday, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting will be held at Gandhinagar in Gujarat to discuss the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The meeting would be followed by a mega rally at Adalaj town in Gandhinagar where Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is likely to address her first public rally after entering politics.
CWC, the highest decision-making body of the Congress, will be meeting in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for the first time since 1961, after a gap of 58 years. Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel will also join the Congress on Tuesday in the presence of party president Rahul Gandhi.