Four of the 11 Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat will go to polls on March 26. The ruling BJP is eying victory on three of the four seats following the resignation of four Congress MLAs.
The Congress party has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of using money and muscle power to buy MLAs in Gujarat ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections. Four of the 11 Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat will go to polls on March 26. The ruling BJP is eying victory on three of the four seats following the resignation of four Congress MLAs.
Gujarat Congress chief Amit Chavda, however, said that the party will contest both the Rajya Sabha seats. “BJP has accumulated crores of rupees through corruption and is trying to buy Congress MLAs. We will not allow the killing of democracy. As far as Rajya Sabha polls are concerned, we will contest on both seats competitively in the state,” he said.
The crisis in the Congress began after four Congress MLAs resigned on Saturday. They are – Somabhai Patel, JV Kakadiya, Pradyumansinh Jadeja and Pravin Maru. Speaker Rajendra Trivedi confirmed that four Congress MLAs have submitted their resignations to him on Saturday and that he has accepted their papers.
With the resignation of four MLAs, the strength of the Congress party in the 182-member Gujarat Legislative Assembly has come down to 69 from 73. This means the Congress is now assured of winning only one seat while the BJP is in a comfortable situation to win the remaining seats. Before the resignations of the four MLAs, the opposition Congress was assured of winning two seats as the first preference votes of 37 MLAs were required to win a seat. The party also has the support of Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani, taking its tally to 74.
The resignation by four MLAs prompted the grand old party to shift at least 24 MLAs to Jaipur on Sunday fearing poaching by the ruling BJP.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel has rubbished the claims of horse-trading and blamed the infighting in the Congress for the crisis. “There are talks that one or two more Congress legislators may resign. This is happening because of infighting in the party,” he said.