Mahendrasinh Vaghela, other legislators have resigned from Gujarat Congress; will join BJP soon
Seven Congress MLAs in Gujarat, who were expelled from the party after they had voted against party candidate Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha polls, have resigned as legislators, Assembly Speaker Ramanlal Vora said today.
Cracking down on dissidents in Gujarat, the Congress had on August 9 expelled from the party for six years former Leader of Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela and the seven MLAs who cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha election on August 8.
"Seven Congress MLAs submitted their resignation to me at my residence last night," Mr Vora said.
The seven MLAs include Vaghela's son Mahendrasinh. Two rebel MLAs Raghavji Patel and Bholabhai Gohel, whose votes were invalidated by the Election Commission, due to which the victory of the Congress candidate was possible, have also submitted their resignation.
The others who have submitted their resignations are Amit Chaudharuy, CK Raulji, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Karmasinh Patel.
"I asked them if they are doing this (resigning) due to any pressure or threat, to which all of them replied in the negative," the Speaker said.
"We have completed the formality of giving resignation from the post of MLA," Mahendrasinh Vaghela told reporters. He said the seven Congress MLAs who resigned last night and three out of the six who had earlier resigned would soon join the BJP.
However, his father, who is among the eight who were expelled by the Congress, would not join the ruling party, Mahendrasinh Vaghela said.
The Congress had 57 MLAs in the Assembly until six of them resigned last month.
On August 8, eight Congress MLAs gave their votes to BJP candidates in the RS polls, following which they were expelled from the party on August 9.
Of the six Congress MLAs who had resigned last month, ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, three later joined the BJP. The remaining three had not taken any decision on joining BJP at that time.
The three MLAs, who joined the BJP last month, were Balwantsinh Rajput, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel.
The other three who had not joined the BJP were Ramsinh Parmar, Chhanabhai Chaudhary and Mansinh Chauhan.
The BJP pitted Balwantsinh Rajput against Congress candidate Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha elections, but the former eventually lost by the narrowest of margins despite cross-voting by some the Congress MLAs.