Two more Gujarat Congress MLAs quit ahead of RS polls

GANDHINAGAR: Ahead ofRajya Sabhaelections, two moreCongressMLAs, from Karjan and Kaparda, resigned on Tuesday evening, reducing the strength of the opposition party to 66. Five MLAs from the party had resigned in March soon after the elections were announced.

Gujarat assembly speaker Rajendra Trivedi said Akshay Patel, MLA from Karjan, and Jitu Choudhury, MLA from Kaparda, had submitted their resignations on Tuesday evening and that he had accepted the resignations after proper verification.

Elections to four Rajya Sabha seats are due to be held on June 19.

With their respective strengths, both BJP and Congress were expected to grab two seats each after four seats fell vacant this year. BJP had three of the seats while senior Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry held the lone Congress seat.

Congress had fielded two candidates, Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki, while BJP had fielded three candidates — Ramila Bara, Abhay Bharadwaj and Narhari Amin — hoping to retain all three seats. However, five Congress MLAs resigned from the assembly in March, reducing the party’s tally to 68. Congress had also initiated the process of shifting its MLAs to Jaipur to keep its flock together.

Congress needs at least 70 votes to send both of its candidates to the Upper House which appears almost impossible now, as BJP is negotiating to get both votes of the two-member Bharatiya Tribal Party and the single vote of the Nationalist Congress Party.

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