In a major setback to the Congress in Gujarat, four of its MLAs have tendered resignations to Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi, even as the party had started shifting its MLAs to Jaipur amid fears of horse-trading.
The four Congress legislators tendered their resignation on Saturday, which Trivedi has accepted, reported news agency PTI on Sunday (March 15).
With this, the strength of the Congress in the 182-seat state assembly has come down to 69 from 73, as against the ruling BJP’s 103 seats. Two seats are with Bharatiya Tribal party and the Nationalist Congress Party has one. There is one Independent legislator as well.
This comes ahead of the election to the four Rajya Sabha seats in the state to be held on March 26. Speaker Trivedi said he will announce the names of the legislators in the Legislative Assembly on Monday.
“Four Congress MLAs tendered their resignation to me on Saturday, and I will announce their names in the Assembly tomorrow,” he said on Sunday.
The Congress had on Saturday shifted its 14 MLAs to Jaipur fearing horse-trading by the ruling BJP ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls.
The BJP has fielded Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramila Bara and Narhari Amin for the election, while the Congress has fielded senior leaders Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki.
Given its number in the Assembly, the ruling BJP can only win two seats unless it manages cross-voting from the opposition camp or ensure defection of Congress MLAs to win the third seat.
(With inputs from agencies)