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Seven of eight expelled Gujarat Congress MLAs resign to join BJP after open rebellion in RS polls

Ahmedabad: Seven Congress MLAs in Gujarat, who were expelled from the party after they had voted against party candidate Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha polls, have resigned as legislators, Assembly Speaker Ramanlal Vora said on Friday.

Cracking down on dissidents in Gujarat, the Congress had on 9 August expelled from the party for six years former Leader of Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela and the seven MLAs who cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha election on 8 August.

"Seven Congress MLAs submitted their resignation to me at my residence on Thursday night," Vora said.

The seven MLAs include Vaghela's son Mahendrasinh. Two rebel MLAs Raghavji Patel and Bholabhai Gohel, whose votes were invalidated by the Election Commission, due to which the victory of the Congress candidate was possible, have also submitted their resignation.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The others who have submitted their resignations are Amit Chaudharuy, CK Raulji, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Karmasinh Patel.

"I asked them if they are doing this (resigning) due to any pressure or threat, to which all of them replied in the negative," the Speaker said.

"We have completed the formality of giving resignation from the post of MLA," Mahendrasinh Vaghela told reporters. He said the seven Congress MLAs who resigned last night and three out of the six who had earlier resigned would soon join the BJP.

However, his father, who is among the eight who were expelled by the Congress, would not join the ruling party, Mahendrasinh Vaghela said. The Congress had 57 MLAs in the Assembly until six of them resigned last month.

On 8 August, eight Congress MLAs gave their votes to BJP candidates in the Rajya Sabha polls, following which they were expelled from the party on 9 August.

Of the six Congress MLAs who had resigned last month, ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, three later joined the BJP. The remaining three had not taken any decision on joining BJP at that time.

The three MLAs, who joined the BJP last month, were Balwantsinh Rajput, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel.

The other three who had not joined the BJP were Ramsinh Parmar, Chhanabhai Chaudhary and Mansinh Chauhan.

The BJP pitted Rajput against Congress candidate Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha polls, but the former eventually lost despite cross-voting by some the Congress MLAs.

Updated Date: Aug 11, 2017 15:26 PM

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