New Delhi: Congress on Monday suspended five of its MLAs in Gujarat after they resigned from the state Assembly, just days ahead of the March 26 Rajya Sabha polls. The MLAs, by resigning, have put the party in danger of losing one of the seats it was confident of winning in the Upper House, which, unlike Lok Sabha, is dominated by the opposition. Also Read - Four Gujarat Congress MLAs Quit Ahead of Rajya Sabha Polls, Claim Reports; Party Says 'No Resignation Received'
The developments in Gujarat, notably, come at a time when the party is already battling to save its government in Madhya Pradesh.
The five Gujarat MLAs who have resigned are Somabhai Patel, JV Kakadiya, Pradyumansinh Jadeja, Praveen Maru and Mangal Gavit. While four of them resigned on Sunday, the fifth, Mangal Gavit, resigned on Monday.
The resignation of the five MLAs means that the Congress now has 68 seats in the 182-seat Gujarat Assembly, where the ruling BJP has 103 MLAs. In order to win two Rajya Sabha seats, the Congress needs 72 votes, while the BJP needs 111; in order to win, the BJP would need ‘cross-voting’ from the Congress.
Accusing the BJP of ‘horse-trading,’ the Congress also moved 22 more of its MLAs to Jaipur, where it had already moved 41 of its MLAs, in two batches, over the weekend.
Three BJP candidates and two from the Congress are in contention for four Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat.