New Delhi: With a spate of Gujarat Congress MLAs resigning from the Assembly in recent days-three in two days earlier this week and overall eight since March-state Congress leader Hardik Patel hit out at those who have resigned, remarking that ‘such people should be hit with slippers’.Also Read - Rajya Sabha Polls 2020: Hit by Resignations, Congress Flocks Gujarat MLAs to Resorts

Speaking to media today, the 27-year-old Patidar leader, who joined the party March last said, “I think that those who are cheating the people, those who have left for money, those who have left due to saam-daam-dand-bhed-people should beat them up with slippers.” Also Read - Ahead of Rajya Sabha Polls, Another Gujarat Congress MLA Resigns; Third in 2 Days

Also Read - Major Setback For Congress in Gujarat as 2 Party MLAs Resign Ahead of Rajya Sabha Polls

Notably, his remarks also come amid reports that those who have resigned are likely to shift to the BJP, with many more likely to follow suit.

The resignations of the MLAs come as a major setback to the Congress just ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, which will take place on June 19. These were earlier scheduled to take place on March 26, but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown that was effected to contain it; the five MLAs had resigned just days before these polls.

The three who have resigned now, too, have resigned just days before elections are held as per the revised schedule. A total of 24 seats across various states, including four from Gujarat, will go to polls on the day. The state sends 11 MLAs to the upper House of Parliament, of which these four seats are vacant.

While the Congress has now been reduced to 65 MLAs-from 73-in the state Assembly, the ruling BJP, which has 103 MLAs, is almost certain to win all three seats for which it has fielded its candidates.

The Congress, meanwhile, has shifted its remaining 65 MLAs to resorts to prevent them from being ‘poached’ by the BJP.