Ahmed Patel files papers for RS poll, Vaghela assures conditional support

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 27, 2017

While he resigned from the position of Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, Vaghela said he would resign as MLA after the Rajya Sabha polls.

Mumbai: After its tallest leader in Gujarat Shankersinh Vaghela announced his exit from the party few days ago, the party was in for a rude shock on Thursday at three more legislators including chief whip Balvantsinh Rajput chose to quit the party and are likely to join BJP.

In the second big jolt to Congress in Gujarat in less than a week, its Chief Whip in the Assembly Balwantsinh Rajput and MLA Tejashree Patel today resigned from membership of the house. Available on Android and IOS.

The three submitted their resignations to Speaker Ramanlal Vora on Thursday afternoon and later headed for the BJP headquarters, Kamalam, to join the party. The part had yesterday nominated BJP president Amit Shah and re-nominated Union Minister Smriti Irani as other two candidates for the polls.

While Rajput could not be contacted on his phone, a person close to Vaghela said that Rajput's name was more or less confirmed for the Rajya Sabha candidate.

Within hours of Rajputs induction, the BJP, seeking to queer the pitch for Ahmed Patel, fielded Rajput as its third candidate from Gujarat, hoping to cut into the votes of the Congress nominee. The trio can't vote in the August 8 Rajya Sabha polls as they are no long members of the House, he said.

Veteran politician and former CM Shankersinh Vaghela on Wednesday warned state Congress in-charge Ashok Gehlot and asked him to retract his statements.Vaghela called a press conference in Gandhinagar where he charged Gehlot with trying to create a split between him and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

Dr Tejashree Patel, MLA from Viramgam, said she was not feeling well within the in-fight ridden party.

In recently held Presidential poll, as many as 11 Congress legislators reportedly defied the party mandate and voted for BJP candidate Ram Nath Kovind.

Last week Vaghela tendered his resignation as leader of the opposition in the Gujarat assembly.

In 182-member Gujarat assembly, BJP along with one dissident (elected on GPP ticket Nalin Kotadia) has 122 members, Congress 55 (including Vahgela who has not resigned yet and his son Mahendrasinh and many other supporters), NCP 2 and JD-U 1.

Talking to media after joining the BJP, Rajput blamed the Congress leadership for his decision to exit. "That is why I gave my resignation", he said.

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