New: Congress, which is already battling to save its government in Madhya Pradesh, is now staring at a crisis in Gujarat as four of its MLAs were reported to have resigned on Sunday. This comes despite the party shifting its Gujarat MLAs to Jaipur, just days after it moved its Madhya Pradesh MLAs to Rajasthan’s capital city. Also Read - Someone Prompting Her What to Say: Congress Posts Imarti Devi's Video a Day Before Floor Test
The possible development comes just days ahead of the crucial Rajya Sabha polls in the state, scheduled to be held on March 26. The four Congress MLAs are reported to have sent their resignations to the Gujarat Assembly Speaker today. Also Read - Madhya Pradesh Government to Face Floor Test Tomorrow as Governor Lalji Tandon Issues Orders
While the party took the first batch of 14 MLAs to Jaipur, the four MLAs who are today reported to have resigned, had been ‘missing.’ Also Read - MP Crisis: BJP Delegation Meets Governor, Demands Floor Test For Kamal Nath Govt March 16
The party, however, denied receiving their resignations, with Virijbhai Thummar, the MLA from Lathi, saying that while MLA Somabhai Patel had been in touch with the party till Saturday, no contact could be made with MLA JV Kakadia and another legislator.
Notably, MLAs JV Kakadia and Somabhai Patel were among the four ‘missing’ MLAs.
The party had started shifted its legislators to Jaipur ahead of the all-important Rajya Sabha polls, amid fears of horse-trading by the BJP. Another batch, comprising of over 20 MLAs, is likely to reach the city by today evening.
In the 203-seat Gujarat Assembly, the BJP has 103 seats, while the Congress has 73. The BJP has fielded three candidates though it can win only two out of four as per its numbers in the Assembly. It is for the third seat that it would need cross-voting from the Congress MLAs, triggering fears of ‘cross-voting’ within the latter.
While the BJP needs 111 votes to win this third seat, Congress needs 74 to win two seats.
The 2017 Rajya Sabha polls saw a fierce battle between the two parties as then-BJP president Amit Shah tried to prevent Congress heavyweight and Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary, Ahmed Patel, from being elected to the House. In the end, however, Patel managed to reach Rajya Sabha for a fifth consecutive time, retaining his seat by a single vote.