Congress Could Lose 10 More MLAs In Gujarat, Says Mahendrasinh Vaghela

Mahendrasinh Vaghela, son of 77-year-old Shankersinh Vaghela who quit the Congress last week triggering a political storm, told NDTV that a significant number of MLAs were angry

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Congress Could Lose 10 More MLAs In Gujarat, Says Mahendrasinh Vaghela

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Gandhinagar:  As the Congress party in Gujarat tries to keep its flock together by flying them out of the state, a key player in the Shankersinh Vaghela camp on Saturday claimed that there were chances of at least 10 to 12 more MLAs quitting from the party upset over the "directionless" and "shoddy" state of affairs. Six lawmakers have quit the party in the last three days, with three of them defecting to the BJP ahead of the closely watched Rajya Sabha polls next month.

Mahendrasinh Vaghela, son of 77-year-old Shankersinh Vaghela who quit the Congress last week triggering a political storm, told NDTV that a significant number of MLAs were angry as hardworking and dedicated workers of the party were being ignored.

"There are at least 10 to 12 legislators who want to resign since they are upset and angry over an inactive state unit ahead of the elections. Raghavji Patel (Congress MLA) had raised these issues about a year back, but none listened. Same with other dedicated party MLAs,'' the junior Vaghela said.

He, however, denied that he was directly in touch with the legislators who had been put up in a resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru but remarked. "They may not be in touch with me but they are somewhere in touch with their supporters and expressing their anguish," he said.

When asked if he would also resign from party and as an elected MLA, Mr Vaghela said that the call would be taken "after consultation with supporters and other party leaders".  When asked how he planned to hold the consultations now that the legislators were holed up outside state, he said, "They will eventually have to come back to vote."

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He alleged that the MLAs had not gone to Bengaluru willingly and were forced by the party to do so. "This reflects the trust deficit between the party brass and the legislators on the ground. How can this party function like this? Herding the MLAs to an outside state forcibly clearly reflects that the leadership is scared of a backlash," said Mr Vaghela.

When asked if there were chances of some MLAs cross-voting during the August 8 elections, Mr Vaghela said, "I cannot say anything on that but legislators are angry and unhappy with the party."

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