Two Congress MLAs resign in Gujarat, give BJP upper hand in RS polls


Two Congress MLAs have resigned ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections to be held on June 19, making chances of the grand old party to win two of the four seats extremely difficult. 

The Congress bid to win two of the four Rajya Saabha seats from Gujarat in the election to be held on June 19 has suffered a jolt with two party MLAs resigning and a third one on the way to submit the resignation.

The Congress, which has 68 members in the 182-meember state assembly, was in a position two seats but the resignation by Karjan MLA Akshay Patel and Kaprada MLA Jitu Chaudhary has given the Bharatiya Janata Party to win three seats. The saffron party has fielded a third candidate, Narhari Amin, a former Congress leader to win the seat.

To win a seat in Gujarat, any candidate needs at least 34 MLAs. With the resignation of the two MLAs the Congress strength has come down to 66. Seven MLAs had deserted the party in March, boosting the chances of BJP, which is currently 38 seats short of majority in the 245-member Upper

The ruling party has been desperately trying to better its tally after elections for 55 seats were announced by the Election Commission of India. The elections were to be held on March 26 but were postponed because of the coronavirus crisis and the nationwide lockdown.

The Congress has accused the BJP of trying to split its ranks. Senior Congress leader and opposition leader Paresh Dharmani alleged that the BJP was trying to buy the Congress MLA using the state machinery and money power.

"The BJP has opened its shop to buy Congress MLAs from the money amassed through corrupt means. The party is using state machinery and money power to win elections," said the leader of the opposition. National leaders of the party have also accused the BJP of poaching opposition legislators for its political gains.

“India is in the midst of its independent history’s biggest health, economic and humanitarian crises. BJP, though, cannot think beyond putting all its energies in poaching legislators for RS polls, people be damned!,” AICC in charge of Gujarat Rajeev Satav had tweeted.

Narhari Amin, who quit Congress and joined the BJP, has denied the allegations and said more were likely to quit the Congress and they were upset.

"I believe that some more Congress MLAs would also resign in near future. They are leaving Congress because they are unhappy with the party leadership," Amin added (with inputs from agencies)

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