- Congress's Jamnagar lawmaker Vallabh Dharaviya resigned today
- His party colleague Parsotam Sabariya quit short while ago, joined BJP
- The BJP now has 100 lawmakers in Gujarat
Trouble seems to be brewing for the Congress in Gujarat as Jamnagar (Rural) lawmaker Vallabh Dharaviya today became the third MLA to quit the party in the last four days. He submitted his resignation to Speaker Rajendra Trivedi this afternoon, a day ahead of the Congress Working Committee meeting in Ahmedabad.
"Dharaviya has resigned as Jamnagar (Rural) MLA. He told me he is resigning voluntarily," Speaker Rajendra Trivedi confirmed.
A short while before Mr Dharaviya quit, his former party colleague Parsotam Sabariya, who had resigned as Dhrangadhra lawmaker on March 8, joined the ruling BJP in the presence of its senior leaders IK Jadeja and KC Patel.
Mr Sabariya was arrested in October last year in connection with an irrigation scam and was granted bail by the Gujarat High Court in February.
Mr Sabariya said he was not under pressure to join the BJP and claimed he was making the switch to develop his constituency.
"I am joining the BJP to develop my constituency. I was not under any pressure and have resigned from the Congress voluntarily. As far as the FIR is concerned, the law will take its own course. The BJP has to do nothing about it. I am not joining BJP to get any post or for other benefits," he told reporters.
On March 8, Jawahar Chavda, Congress lawmaker from Manavadar, too had resigned from the Assembly and was promptly inducted into the BJP. He was made a cabinet minister in the Vijay Rupani government on March 9.
The total number of desertions of lawmakers from Gujarat Congress in the past few months now stands at five.
Apart from these five, the Congress lost another lawmaker when Bhagvan Barad was disqualified from the membership of the House on March 5 following his conviction and two year jail sentence in an illegal mining case.
In July last year, senior Congress MLA Kunvarji Bavalia had resigned as legislator and was later made a cabinet minister in the state government. He then won the bypoll on a BJP ticket.
Last month, first-time lawmaker from Unjha seat in Mehsana, Asha Patel, had resigned from the House and the Congress, and joined the BJP.
The BJP now has 100 lawmakers in the 182-member House while the Congress has 71 lawmakers.