A day after the Election Commission of India announced the schedule for the much anticipated 2019 Lok Sabha elections, another senior legislator Vallabh Dharaviya tendered his resignation from the Congress bringing the effective strength of the party in the House to 71. Dharaviya handed over his resignation to Speaker of Gujarat Assembly Rajendra Trivedi. This comes just a day before the highest decision-making body of Congress \u2014 Congress Working Committee \u2014 is scheduled to meet in Ahmedabad on Tuesday (March 12). The senior politician represented Jamnagar Rural constituency. Dharaviya became the third MLA to leave the party in just four days and fifth in about nine months. Last week on Friday, two Congress legislators \u2014Jawahar Chavda and Parshottam Sawaria \u2014 left the party. Jawahar and Parshottam both have joined the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Four-term MLA Jawahar Chavda was representing Manavadar seat in Junagadh district, while Sawaria was elected from Dhrangadhra constituency in Surendranagar district, Gujarat. Chavda is considered to be an influential OBC leader in the state. He won Manavadar seat four times \u2014 1990, 2007, 2012 and 2017. After the latest resignations, the total strength of the Congress party has come down to 71 from 77 seats it had secured in 182-member House. Before the latest three regulations, two senior Congress leaders Kunvarji Bavalia and Asha Patel had resigned from the party. Both the leaders later joined the BJP. The continuous exodus of its senior leaders could affect the prospects of the opposition party in the upcoming general elections. However, the Congress has managed to bring Hardik Patel on board. The Patidar leader will join the party on Tuesday in the presence of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Gujarat will go to polls on April 23. Results will be declared on May 23.