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Politics
28 Jul 2017

RS polls: 3 Gujarat Congress leaders join hands with BJP

3 Gujarat MLAs join hands with BJP

Ahead of RS polls, Congress is in for a major setback after three senior MLAs from Gujarat Assembly resigned and joined BJP in Amit Shah's presence in Gandhinagar on Thursday.

Ex-Congress chief Balwantsinh Rajput, Dr. Tejshri Patel and Prahlad Patel gave their resignation stating conflict of interest within the party.

Meanwhile, Rajput will file his nomination for RS polls against Congress's Ahmed Patel.

In context

3 Gujarat MLAs join hands with BJP

Congress leaders who joined BJP

Off late there have been many leaders from the Opposition joining the saffron party. The ones who made headlines were Arvinder Singh Lovely, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Jagdambika Pal, Ranjit Deshmukh, Madhuri Verma among several others.

11 Congress leaders in touch with BJP: Sources

Congress's ordeal

11 Congress leaders in touch with BJP: Sources

Congress party is trying hard to regain its foothold in the upcoming RS polls but according to sources, at least 11 more leaders are likely to resign and join BJP.

These 11 leaders are said to have met Shankersinh Vaghela and BJP members.

This could probably affect Ahmed Patel's vote share which will decline from 47 to 43.

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Reactions

Ex-Congress leaders state 'indiscipline' as reason for exiting

The three Congress leaders who tendered their resignation cited 'indiscipline' as the major reason behind leaving the party.

On joining BJP, Balwantsinh Rajput expressed that internal rift within the party forced him to take such a decision.

Another leader Dr. Tejshri Patel said that the Congress chiefs took no action against members making inane comments.

Cross-voting might affect Congress's chances in RS polls

Risks

Cross-voting might affect Congress's chances in RS polls

Given in the light of event wherein 11 Congress MLAs cross-voted in the presidential elections, it'll be hard for Congress to bank upon on its own leaders in order to elect Ahmed Patel to power in RS polls.

Congress Gujarat chief said it will be banking heavily on three MLAs from other parties, including two from its ally NCP and one from JD(U).

Theories

Balwantsinh Rajput's nomination to corner Congress's Ahmed Patel?

It is being speculated that ex-Congress chief Balwantsinh Rajput is being pitted against Ahmed Patel in order to corner the latter.

Acting tactfully, BJP chose to field Rajput as he is a close relative of ex-Congress senior leader Shankersinh Vaghela.

The nomination further demonstrates the closeness between Vaghela and BJP which could prove as a big hindrance to Patel's win in the RS polls.

RS polls face-off:  BJP vs Congress

Legal battle

RS polls face-off: BJP vs Congress

As the RS polls inch closer, both BJP and Congress are gearing up by deploying legal advisors to win the electoral battle.

While sources reveal that BJP has deployed Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Congress has roped in Harin Raval, former Additional Solicitor General in the Gujarat High Court.

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