India

Gujarat Congress MLAs resign, race wide open for fourth Rajya Sabha seat

Gujarat Congress MLAs resign, race wide open for fourth Rajya Sabha seat
The latest developments have left the Congress dismayed as it has injected an element of uncertainty in its plans to win two of the four Rajya Sabha seats.

Ahead of Rajya Sabha elections on June 19, the Congress today suffered a jolt in Gujarat after at least two of its MLAs resigned and a third one is said to be on the way out. The development can turn the Rajya Sabha elections into a close contest this time too.

Sources said Karjan MLA Akshay Patel has resigned and Kaprada MLA Jitu Chaudhary was not in touch with the party anymore. The Congress believes he too has resigned. Congress leaders said there are unconfirmed reports that a third MLA could also resign.

“Two I can confirm. Third we are trying to confirm,” a senior AICC leader said. “It was expected. It is Gujarat. If they (BJP) can do this sort of thing in other states….Gujarat is their home ground,” the leader said.

Congress leaders got a wind of the trouble last night itself but despite frantic attempts by leaders, the party could not reach the MLAs.

“India is in the midst of its independent history’s biggest health, economic and humanitarian crises. BJP, though, cannot think beyond putting all its energies in poaching legislators for RS polls, people be damned!,” AICC in charge of Gujarat Rajeev Satav had tweeted.

The Congress had suffered a jolt in March when five of its MLAs resigned, bringing down its tally to 68. The latest developments have left the Congress dismayed as it has injected an element of uncertainty in its plans to win two of the four Rajya Sabha seats.

The BJP has 103 members in the House and is in a position to win two seats. The Congress, which had 68 members after the resignation of five MLAs in March, will find it tough for win the second seat after the fresh desertions.  The BJP has fielded a third candidate —  Narhari Amin, a former Congress leader.

© The Indian Express (P) Ltd