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Jolt for Congress: 2 more MLAs resign in Gujarat

Jolt for Congress: 2 more MLAs resign in Gujarat

Soon after Rajput joined the BJP, he was named as the candidate for the third Rajya Sabha seat, along with BJP president Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani, who are expected to win easily, given the BJP's strength in the Assembly. The comments come after at least six Congress MLAs in Gujarat resigned from the party to join the BJP since Thursday.

Rajput is a relative of Shankersinh Vaghela, who quit the Congress last week, while P.I. Patel was the Congress legislator from Vijapur.

Rajput, the Congress' chief whip in the State Assembly, Tejashree Patel and PI Patel, who quit the party, are believed to be staunch supporters of Vaghela.

The three resignations from the Congress took place a day after its lone candidate Ahmed Patel filed his nomination for a fifth consecutive term, claiming Vaghela's support.

"To ensure that BJP is not successful in its mission, 44 of us Congress MLAs are leaving from Gujarat for Bengaluru", ANI quoted Gujatat Congress leader Shailesh Parmar as saying. One of them, Balvantsinh Rajput, has been named as a candidate for the Rajya Sabha by the BJP. People like an IPS officer who was behind bars for 8-9 years in fake encounter case are being used to kidnap our MLAs, offer money or threaten our legislators.

The Congress accused the BJP of using "money and muscle power" to engineer defections by its MLAs in Gujarat ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha poll.

Meanwhile, Congress launched a scathing attack on the BJP for attempting to try and poach its MLAs by hook or by crook.

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The move by Congress comes in wake of six of its 57 legislators quitting party in last two days.

Following repeated adjournments earlier on, the Rajya Sabha was on Friday adjourned for the day soon after it met after lunch, amid a ruckus by Opposition and treasury benches.

It was alleged that Scheduled Tribe Congress MLA Punabhai Gamit, a three-time legislator, was being threatened and lured.

With Nitish Kumar-led Bihar in its kitty, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on a new high, and is said to be contemplating a far-far reaching reshuffle in the union government as also in the organizational machinery, so as to keep the party battle-fit for the 2019 elections.

Dang MLA Mangal Gavit and Ishwarbhai Patel, another Congress legislator present at the press meet, made similar allegations.

The resignation of two more MLAs on Friday has reduced Congress's tally to 52 in the 182-seat assembly.

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