Gujarat: Congress flies 44 MLAs to Bengaluru to prevent defections

30 July, 2017, 01:33 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
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The Election Commission of India on Saturday asked the Gujarat government to ensure the safety of all 44 Congress MLAs and their family members who flew down to Bengaluru on Friday on the directions of party to prevent horse trading in the state ahead of Rajya Sabha election.

Stunned by the sudden exodus of MLAs, Gujarat Congress went into damage control mode to stop more MLAs from shifting allegiance. Rajput, a close aide and brother-in-law of former chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela, is likely to contest as the third RS candidate from the BJP.

Six Congress MLAs in Gujarat have resigned in the last two days, ahead of the Rajya Sabha election in the state.

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BJP leader S. Prakash said Gujarat Congress leaders are not sure of getting re-elected and see no future in the Congress and that is why many Congress MLAs are deserting the party.

After seven sitting Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) left the Indian National Congress in Gujarat, the party today made a decision to fly down the remaining MLAs to Bangalore. The BJP has the mandate to win only two seats. There were no independent. "For Rajya Sabha elections, they are using police", Azad said.

The resignation comes when the Rajya Sabha election is around the corner in Gujarat. On Friday morning, Vansda legislator Chhanabhai Chaudhury, Thasra legislator Ramsinh Parmar and Balasinor legislator Mansinh Chauhan put in their papers from Congress and quit as Members of Gujarat Legislative Assembly.

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Meanwhile, the MLAs have also requested the party seniors to allow them to visit the historical sites in Mysuru and Madikeri, now that they have landed in Karnataka, said the source.

Parmar, however, clarified that he would not join BJP.

44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat were packed off to Bengaluru after six legislators defected to the BJP. The three MLAs who resigned Thursday - Tejashreeben Patel, Balwantsinh Rajput and Prahlad Patel - have already joined the BJP. "We are frustrated. Nobody listened to our voice and took note of our aspirations", the veteran leader added.

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Apart from Rajput, who is MLA from Siddhpur, P.I. Patel, Congress legislator from Vijapur, and Tejshri Patel from Viramgam assembly tendered their resignation to Assembly Speaker Ramanlal Vora. Eminent doctor and its whip Tejashreeben Patel has left it. "Does the Congress want to suggest that it has given important positions to such leaders who could be purchased", Prasad said.

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