New Delhi: Just a few days ahead of Rajya Sabha polls, it comes as a major setback for the Congress in Gujarat as two party’s MLAs on Thursday resigned as members of the Legislative Assembly. The elections to Rajya Sabha for four seats from the state are scheduled to be held on June 19.Also Read - Five Dead, 57 Injured as Major Blast Causes Fire at Chemical Factory in Gujarat’s Dahej Area
In the wake of the resignation of the party MLAs, the Congress has accused the BJP of trying to break the opposition party to win the Rajya Sabha polls. However, the ruling BJP dismissed the charge, saying MLAs were leaving the Congress as they were not so happy with the party leadership. Also Read - Cyclone Nisarga to Make Landfall Today; Maharashtra, Gujarat on High Alert | Top Developments
In the 182-member state Assembly, the ruling BJP has 103 MLAs and the opposition Congress now has 66 legislators.
Reacting to the development, Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi said Congress MLAs Akshay Patel and Jitu Chaudhary met him on Wednesday evening and handed over their resignations.
“I have accepted their resignations. They now cease to be the legislators,” Trivedi said.
Patel represented Karjan seat of Vadodara while Chaudhary won from Kaprada seat of Valsad. Since March, seven Congress MLAs have so far resigned, including Patel and Chaudhary.
In March, five Congress legislators had tendered their resignations, days after the Rajya Sabha polls were announced. With two more legislators now quitting the Congress, its chances of winning the second seat are slim.
As per updates, out of the four Rajya Sabha seats from the state which will go for polls on June 19, three are currently held by the BJP and one by the Congress.
While the Congress has fielded two candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls, the BJP has fielded three, making it difficult for the opposition party to win a second seat.
The BJP has fielded Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin, and the Congress has announced names of senior leaders Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki for the polls.
As per earlier announcements, the elections were supposed to be held on March 26. However, the polls were postponed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent imposition of the lockdown.