Hours after senior Congress leader Jawahar Chavda resigned as MLA Friday and switched sides to the BJP, another MLA Parshottam Sabariya tendered his resignation to the assembly speaker, bringing down the party strength in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly to 72. Sabariya is the fourth Congress MLA to tender resignation since July 2018.
“After a lot of churning, I have come to the conclusion that it is necessary to be in a ruling party to serve people better. And therefore, I have changed my home,” Chavda said before tendering his resignation.
Chavda’s resignation comes days ahead of the scheduled meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in the state. “Chavda has resigned as MLA from Manavadar seat. He came to my residence and handed over his resignation letter. I have accepted his resignation. He has not cited any particular reason. Chavda ceases to be an MLA from today,” Speaker Rajendra Trivedi was quoted as saying by PTI.
Chavda, a four-time MLA, represented Manavadar seat in Junagadh district and is considered to be an influential OBC leader from the Ahir community. He won from Manavadar seat in the years 1990, 2007, 2012 and 2017.
In July last year, senior Congress MLA Kunvarji Bavalia had resigned as the legislator. 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.
In a letter to party president Rahul Gandhi, Patel wrote that she has resigned from the party due to “prevalent infighting” and “because the leadership has been ignoring me”. “There is a lack of connection between the MLAs and the party organisation… I felt that there is no opportunity for my future growth in the party and therefore, I resigned,” she added.
Patel also 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.
The Congress had won 77 seats in 2017 Assembly elections.