These resignations have put in question whether Congress can get its heavyweight Ahmed Patel elected to the Rajya Sabha.
Following the resignation of 6 Gujarat Congress MLAs ahead of Rajya Sabha election next week and their pledging allegiance to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), party leader and a legislator himself, Shailesh Parmar on Friday said, “To hide their failure, BJP is trying to make sure our MLAs resign by offering money and through police pressure.” He added,”To ensure BJP is not successful, 44 of us Congress MLAs are leaving from Gujarat for Bengaluru.” Fearing that more MLAs may quit and join the BJP, Congress has gathered them together and has shepherded them out of the state. The exit of these six members just ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls has weakened the Congress party in the state. These resignations have put in question whether Congress can get its heavyweight Ahmed Patel elected to the Rajya Sabha. While each Rajya Sabha candidate needs 47 votes to win, there is speculation that some disgruntled Congress MLAs may even cross-vote. Earlier, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad commenting on the allegation of horse trading in Gujarat had said that Congress party’s allegations are false and are born out of utter desperation. He added, “Those leaving Congress to know they aren’t getting due respect in the party, it’s a sinking ship.”
As per PTI report, Prasad on senior leader Shankarsinh Vaghela resigning from the Congress said,”A senior leader like Shankersinh Vaghela, former chief minister and the leader of the opposition, has left the Congress. Three-time MLA and its chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput has left it too. Eminent doctor and its whip Tejashreeben Patel has left it. Does the Congress want to suggest that it has given important positions to such leaders who could be purchased?”
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani said,“I welcome all three MLAs into the BJP fold. I called Rajput and invited him to join the party upon learning that he, along with two other MLAs, has resigned. I welcome all of them into the BJP,” as per PTI. He was speaking a day before the resignation of 3 more Congress MLAs who subsequently joined the BJP. Balwantsinh Rajput on leaving Congress said,”Though I worked with dedication for the Congress over the last 35 years, I was very upset because of infighting and groupism in the party.
Fingers were also raised at me over my integrity owing to my relation with Vaghela. I realized if I have to work for development, I have to leave the Congress.”