Gandhingar: In yet another blow to the Gujarat state Congress, nine elected members of Gandhinagar zilla (district) panchayat joined the BJP on Monday, making Congress a minority in the district body.
Congress members who joined the BJP include district panchayat president Hina Patel, who along with eight other members joined the BJP at its party office at 'Shri Kamalam' in Koba, near the Gujarat state capital on Monday.
State BJP vice president and spokesperson IK Jadeja welcomed these nine members.
"This is the 25th district panchayat out of a total 26 district panchayats in Gujarat, which has now come under BJP rule. After seeing Gujarat's development under the previous Narendra Modi-led government, and now by Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel, many Congress leaders want to join the BJP to become a part of this development process," Jadeja said.
With this development, the BJP has a majority strength of 17 members in the Gandhinagar district panchayat, which has a total number of 27 seats. After losing Gandhinagar, the Congress is left with only the Tapi district panchayat, as the party won only Gandhinagar and Tapi during panchayat elections held in 2010.
Congress came to power in 2010, when 19 of its members were elected, while BJP got only eight seats. The Congress is now in a minority, with only ten seats left with the party.
This is the second such blow to the Congress in recent times. Earlier, eight Congress councillors defected to the BJP just ahead of the Junagadh Municipal Corporation (JMC) elections.
Out of a total number of eight municipal corporations in Gujarat, JMC was the only municipal corporation run by Congress. After the defection and recent elections, the BJP has once again gained power at the JMC.
Reacting to the latest development, senior Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela said Congress is not bothered by such migration.
"The Congress is like an ocean, where people come and go. This is just a process. People migrate due to various offers and lures by opposition parties," Vaghela said. Talking about "anti-party activities" by some of their local leaders, Vaghela replied cautiously.
"I came from a background where discipline was given utmost importance. The issue of anti-party activity is valid. But, here (in Congress), things are more liberal," Vaghela said.
Updated Date: Aug 05, 2014 08:26:18 IST