Three Gujarat Congress MLAs join BJP, one named RS candidate

BJP President Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani have filed their nomination on Friday and will contest for Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat. The tally is now five.

Hours after three MLAs joined BJP on Thursday, one of them - Balwantsinh Rajput - was named the party's third Rajya Sabha candidate.

Earlier today, in yet another blow to Congress, Vansda MLA Chhanabhai Chaudhary, Mansinh Chauhan from Balasinor, Ramsinh Parmar from Thasra and C.K. Raolji submitted their resignations to Speaker Ramanlal Vora.

While Congress MLA Balvantsinh Rajput has resigned from all posts in the party, Dr Tejashree Patel who is an MLA from Viramgam assembly constituency and one of the vocal leaders of the party in the Gujarat Assembly has quit the legislative assembly as well as the Congress party. BJP has nominated three candidates for three seats of Rajya Sabha while Congress has fielded only two candidates.Rajput sold teaLike PM Modi, Balwantsinh, 55, had to work on a tea stall as he could not complete his schooling due to poor economic condition of the family.

With these resignations, the total strength of the state Assembly has gone down to 176, and Patel would need 46 of the 51 Congress votes to make his Rajya Sabha comeback.

Congress leaders are keeping their fingers crossed over Patel's victory as MLAs of Janata Dal (United) may, in the changed situations, not go his way.

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Besides Surjewala and senior Gujarat leader and Congress MLA from Abdasa Shaktisinh Gohil, the statement has been signed by legislators Punabhai Gamit, Mangalbhai Gavit, Ishwarbhai Patel and Anand Chaudhary. Speculation is rife that even Rajput could file his nomination papers for the Upper House, hoping to get surplus BJP votes and a slice off the Congress votes meant for Patel.

"To ensure that BJP is not successful in its mission, 44 of us Congress MLAs are leaving from Gujarat for Bengaluru", ANI quoted Gujatat Congress leader Shailesh Parmar as saying.

Two other legislators who resigned from the Congress include Tejashreeben Patel and PI Patel.

Singhvi said he was confident about victory of Patel, seeking a fifth Rajya Sabha term from Gujarat.

"You are stealing MLAs by using the police".

After seven sitting Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) left the Indian National Congress in Gujarat, the party today made a decision to fly down the remaining MLAs to Bangalore.


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