Rajya Sabha elections, Gujarat Rajya Sabha Elections: Brijesh Merja, Congress MLA from Morbi seat, resigned on Friday. Three Congress MLAs have resigned in the last three days.
Congress MLAs resign in Gujarat, Gujarat Rajya Sabha election 2020: The Congress party’s troubles ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat mounted further on Friday with the exit of another party legislator, just days after two MLAs resigned from the Legislative Assembly. The one who resigned on Friday is Brijesh Merja, MLA from Morbi seat.
Speaker Rajendra Trivedi has already accepted the resignation of Merja. The State Assembly secretariat confirmed the development. Before quitting as a legislator, Merja also resigned from the primary membership of the Congress.
Merja is the third Congress MLA to quit in the last three days. The two others who have resigned recently are Akshay Patel and Jitu Chaudhary. While Patel resigned from the House on Wednesday evening, Trivedi had submitted his papers the next day.
Polling to fill the four Rajya Sabha seats of Gujarat will take place on June 19. In the current scenario, the party may now find it extremely difficult to win more than one of the four seats.
The BJP has 103 MLAs in the 182-member Legislative Assembly and can easily win two of the four seats. The ruling party has fielded a third candidate, Narhari Amin, setting up a close contest for a seat.
To win a Rajya Sabha seat, a candidate in Gujarat needs at least 34 votes.
Had the Congress managed to keep its MLAs intact, it would have won two seats as well. The Congress now has 65 members and will have to settle with one seat.
The party has fielded Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki and it will have to decide who will be its first preference candidate. While the first preference candidate will sail through smoothly, the second will witness a close contest and bank on cross-voting in the BJP camp.
Besides Narhari Amin, the ruling BJP has fielded Abhay Bhardwaj and Ramilaben Bara.
The Congress faced a similar crisis in 2017 when Gandhi family’s close aide Ahmed Patel fought hard to retain his Rajya Sabha berth after 13 MLAs resigned. Patel, however, won by a whisker.