Five Gujarat Congress MLAs, who had resigned during RS polls, join BJP
Eight Congress legislators resigned in March and June and ensured the defeat of Congress’ second candidate in the electoral fray for the Rajya Sabha. On June 27, five of these former MLAs have joined the BJP in the presence of Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani.
Five of the eight Congress legislators who had resigned ahead of the Rajya Sabha election have joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The flurry of resignations by these legislators in March and June had ensured the defeat of Congress’ second candidate in the electoral fray for the Upper House.
On Saturday, former Congress MLAs Jitu Chaudhary, Pradyumnasinh Jadeja, J V Kakadiya, Akshay Patel and Brijesh Merja joined the saffron party in the presence of Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani.
Of these five former MLAs, Patel, Merja and Chaudhary had resigned as legislators earlier this month, soon after the Election Commission announced June 19 as the new date for the Rajya Sabha election.
Kakadiya and Jadeja had resigned as MLAs in March.
The Rajya Sabha election was earlier scheduled to be held on March 26. After the announcement of the poll dates, the Congress MLAs started to submit their resignations to the Gujarat assembly speaker, despite the fact that a global pandemic was knocking.
The COVID outbreak led to the imposition of a nationwide lockdown and the EC had to postpone the poll dates.
The resignation of the Congress MLAs ahead of last week's Rajya Sabha election for four seats was crucial for the BJP to win three seats, leaving only one seat for the Congress. The grand old party had fielded two candidates.
It was anticipated that these Congress rebels would join the saffron party after the polls are over.
On Saturday, welcoming the five former legislators, Vaghani said that their presence would strengthen the party at the local level.
"Congress MLAs have resigned and joined the BJP in Gujarat not once but several times in the past. If Congress continues to blame the BJP despite this happening repeatedly, then I would ask that party to shut its shop in Gujarat," he said.
Vaghani also claimed that the BJP would win the bye-elections to the constituencies which have fallen vacant due to the resignations of Congress legislators.
આજે ગાંધીનગરના કોબા સ્થિત ભાજપા પ્રદેશ કાર્યાલય ‘‘શ્રી કમલમ્’’ ખાતે પૂર્વ ધારાસભ્યશ્રીઓ શ્રી બ્રિજેશભાઈ મેરજા, શ્રી જે.વી.કાકડિયા, શ્રી અક્ષયભાઈ પટેલ, શ્રી પ્રદ્યુમનસિંહ જાડેજા અને શ્રી જીતુભાઇ ચૌધરીને વિધિવત રીતે કેસરીયો ખેસ પહેરાવી ભારતીય જનતા પાર્ટીમાં સ્વાગત કર્યું. pic.twitter.com/bPxFvFsofe
— Jitu Vaghani (@jitu_vaghani) June 27, 2020
He further added that the remaining three former Congress MLAs - Soma Patel, Pravin Maru, and Mangal Gavit - are also welcome to join the BJP.