Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Monday claimed the Congress is a "sinking ship" and there will be more defections from the opposition party after the November 3 bypolls to eight seats in the state.
Addressing a poll rally in support of BJP candidate Jitu Chaudhary in Kaprada town of Valsad district, Mr Rupani said these by-elections have been necessitated because eight Congress MLAs resigned.
"The Congress is getting disintegrated across the country. It is a sinking ship. Time has come to bury the Congress by putting the last nail in its coffin," he said.
He claimed that Congress workers do not have any trust in their party's leadership.
"Questions are also raised on Rahul Gandhi's ability to lead. The party workers are trying to get freedom from dynastic leadership. The party workers are still unhappy and the Congress will see more defections after this bypoll," the Chief Minister claimed.
"The MLAs realised it is difficult to do people's work while being in the Congress, because the party believes in keeping only one family happy. Jitubhai (Chaudhary) has joined the BJP for the betterment of his constituency," he said.
Mr Rupani noted that a number of Congress MLAs left the party in the past too.
In 2017, Congress heavyweight Shankersinh Vaghela left the party with 13 other MLAs, followed by the exit of six next year and now eight legislators, he said.
Jitu Chaudhary is the BJP's candidate from Kaprada seat, one of the eight constituencies where by-elections have been necessitated as eight Congress MLAs resigned ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls in June this year.
The defection helped the BJP to win one extra seat in the Rajya Sabha elections.
Out of the eight MLAs who resigned, five, including Mr Chaudhary, joined the BJP and the ruling party has nominated them for the bypolls.
Besides Kaprada, the other seats where bypolls will be held on November 3 are -Limbdi, Karjan, Abdasa, Gadhada, Dang, Morbi and Dhari.