New Delhi: A day after two Gujarat Congress MLAs resigned from the state Assembly, a third one resigned on Friday, dealing a major setback to the party just days ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, scheduled to take place on June 19. Also Read - Four Gujarat Congress MLAs Quit Ahead of Rajya Sabha Polls, Claim Reports; Party Says 'No Resignation Received'
Brijesh Merja, the MLA from Morbi, resigned today. Akshay Patel and Jitu Chaudhary had tendered their resignations on Wednesday evening, which were accepted on Thursday by the Speaker. Also Read - Gujarat Congress Warns of Protest at Stadium During Donald Trump Visit
Confirming today’s development, Rajendra Trivedi, Gujarat Assembly Speaker, said, “Another Congress MLA has tendered his resignation from the post and I have accepted it. He is Brijesh Merja, Morbi MLA.” Also Read - 'Rahul Gandhi Did Nothing For us,' Says Alpesh Thakur After Quitting as Gujarat Congress MLA
Notably, since March, a total of eight Gujarat Congress MLAs have resigned, including these three, thus bringing down the party’s strength in the state Assembly from 73 to 65.
Four Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat will go to polls on June 19, along with seats from several other states. Congress has accused the ruling BJP of ‘trying to break the party’-an allegation that the saffron party has denied.
As of now, the BJP, which has 103 seats in the Assembly, is certain to win two Rajya Sabha seats, but will need ‘support’ to win the third. As things stand, a nominee needs at least 36 votes to get elected to the upper house of the Parliament.
While the BJP has nominated Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramilaben Bara, and Narhari Amin as its three candidates for the polls, the Congress has nominated only two-Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki.
Rajya Sabha elections were earlier scheduled to take place on March 26 but had to be postponed due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.