Three more Gujarat Cong MLAs resign

PTI
Saturday, 29 July 2017

Ahmedabad: In another jolt to the Congress in Gujarat, three party MLAs considered close to Shankarsinh Vaghela on Friday quit and joined the BJP, which quickly declared one of them its candidate for next month’s Rajya Sabha polls against Congress veteran Ahmed Patel.

The resignation of Balwantsinh Rajput, the party’s chief whip in the Assembly, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel reduced the Congress’s tally to 54 in the 182-seat assembly.

Ahmedabad: In another jolt to the Congress in Gujarat, three party MLAs considered close to Shankarsinh Vaghela on Friday quit and joined the BJP, which quickly declared one of them its candidate for next month’s Rajya Sabha polls against Congress veteran Ahmed Patel.

The resignation of Balwantsinh Rajput, the party’s chief whip in the Assembly, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel reduced the Congress’s tally to 54 in the 182-seat assembly.

Rajput, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel resigned from the House and also all party posts. They later drove to the BJP office in Gandhinagar and joined the saffron party in the presence of its president Amit Shah. Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani are the other two BJP candidates for the August 8 RS elections. Of the total 11 Rajya Sabha members from the state, the term of three -- Irani and Dilipbhai Pandya (both BJP) and Ahmed Patel -- is ending on August 18. The Congress has re-nominated Ahmed Patel, political secretary to party president Sonia Gandhi. The 67-year-old Congressman filed his nomination papers on Thursday.

Rajput represented Siddhapur seat in Patan district, while Tejashreeben Patel was elected from Viramgam in Ahmedabad district. Prahlad Patel was elected from Vijapur in Mehasana district.

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