Trouble mounts for Congress as 4 Gujarat MLAs resign ahead of Rajya Sabha election

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Trouble mounts for Congress as 4 Gujarat MLAs resign ahead of Rajya Sabha election
Four Gujarat Congress MLAs resigned on Sunday despite the party shifting its state MLAs to Jaipur ahead of the crucial Rajya Sabha election on March 26.

The four Congress MLAs have submitted their resignations with the Gujarat assembly Speaker on Sunday just days ahead of the Rajya Sabha election.
While Congress took the first batch of 14 MLAs to Jaipur on Saturday, these 4 MLAs were missing. Now they have resigned. MLAs JV Kakdia and Somabhai Patel are among the four who have resigned.
However, Gujarat Congress MLA Virjibhai Thummar denied the resignation reports and said, "Rumours are rife but the party hasn't received any resignation. MLA Somabhai Patel was in touch with Congress till yesterday. I tried but couldn't contact JV Kakadia and another legislator."
The Gujarat Congress started shifting its MLAs out of the state amid fears of horse-trading ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections. Another batch of 20-22 party MLAs is likely to reach the Rajasthan capital on Sunday evening.
In the 182-seat Gujarat Assembly, BJP has 103 seats, Congress 73, while two seats are with Bharatiya Tribal party and the Nationalist Congress Party has one. There is one Independent legislator as well.
The Congress decided to shift its MLAs, even when the Assembly session is underway, after the BJP fielded three candidates though it can win only two seats out of four as per its strength in the Assembly. Two candidates from Congress have filed their nomination papers.
The Congress' chief whip in Rajasthan Assembly Mahesh Joshi and deputy chief whip Mahendra Chaudhary received the Gujarat MLAs at the Jaipur airport and took them to a resort on Jaipur-Delhi highway in a bus.
Joshi said on Saturday more MLAs will come to Jaipur.
The BJP will require cross-voting from Congress MLAs to win the third seat, as it needs a total of 111 votes.
The Congress will need 74 votes to win two seats. Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani on Friday extended his support to the Congress.
Sources said Congress MLAs will be shifted to Jaipur and other places in batches, and a few will also stay back to attend the Assembly session as required.
MLAs like Himmatsinh Patel, Ganiben Thakor, Chandanji Thakor, Rutvik Makwana, Bharatji Thakor, Lakha Bharwad, Nathabhai Patel, Ajitsinh Chauhan, Harshad Ribadiya, Chirag Kalariya and others were seen at Ahmedabad airport, as they arrived to board flights.
"This is a part of our party's strategy," one of the MLAs told reporters after arriving at the Jaipur airport.
Sources said the MLAs will go in separate groups to Congress-ruled states like Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
Talking to the media, MLA Baldevji Thakor said on Saturday, "For now I am going to Delhi. From Delhi, the party will decide where I will go. We have to go to three to four different places."
The Congress' move is to thwart any attempt at cross-voting.
It has fielded senior state leader Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki while the BJP has fielded Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramila Bara and Narhari Amin.
The BJP, with 103 MLAs, is banking on support of two MLAs of the BTP, led by tribal leader Chotu Vasava, and one of the NCP, but will still need another five votes.




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