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Guj Cong Shifts 44 MLAs to B’luru, Party Leaders Meet EC Officials

  • Congress leaders to meet EC officials today
  • Congress shifts 44 MLAs to Bengaluru resort to avoid ‘poaching by BJP’
  • 6 MLAs quit Gujarat Congress after Vaghela’s resignation, more MLAs to follow suit
  • Congress senior leader Ahmed Patel filed his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha polls on 26 July. He will contest from Gujarat

The 40-odd MLAs who’ve been shifted to the Eagleton Resort in Bengaluru were seen enjoying their lunch. According to Ahmedabad Mirror, the arrangements have been made by Karnataka Congress politicians DK Suresh & DK Sivakumar.

Speaking to the daily, three Congress MLAs said their loyalty should not be questioned, and expressed their desire to get back to Gujarat.

According to ANI, Congress top brass comprising Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Singh, Abhishek Singhvi and Manish Tewari will meet the Election Commission over the defection of Gujarat Congress MLAs to BJP.

According to TV9 Gujarati, the state Congress chief Bharatsinh Madhavsinh Solanki has called for a party meet at the Ahmedabad city office at 3:30 pm.

Amid the exit of six Congress MLAs ahead of Rajya Sabha polls, a senior party legislator has said Ahmed Patel will find it difficult to win the elections as more Opposition lawmakers are likely to resign in the days to come.

Ahmed Patel has been fielded by the Congress for the 8 August Rajya Sabha polls.

Congress MLA Raghavjee Patel, considered close to former party strongman Shankersinh Vaghela, indicated he would also resign and join the BJP.

The state party leadership, along with Congress high command, is responsible for whatever is happening right now. In the coming days, around 20 Congress MLAs would sever ties with the party. Thus, it will be impossible for Ahmed Patel to win the Rajya Sabha polls. 

Another Congress MLA from Jamnagar, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, also indicated he would leave the party.

In a move to guard its MLAs in Gujarat from being "poached" by the BJP ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls in that state on 8 August, the Congress leadership has decided to "shift" them to Bengaluru.

The MLAs reportedly reached the resort at 5:30 am, Saturday morning.

“Looking at the current situation (in Gujarat), where attempts are being made to lure our members, we are taking 46 of our MLAs to Bengaluru tonight,” said a senior party leader, requesting anonymity.

“To ensure BJP is not successful, 44 of us Congress MLAs are leaving from Gujarat for Bengaluru,” Shailesh Parmar, a Congress MLA said.

On Friday, the Congress leadership alleged that three of their MLAs had been bribed by the BJP to join their ranks.

Speaking to Times of India, the three MLAs-- Punabhai Gamit from Vyara, Mangal Gavit from Dang and Ishvarbhai Patel from Dharampur, who were allegedly offered bribes said that they were not only promised a ticket in the 2017 assembly elections but were also offered Rs 10 crore cash.

Randeep Singh Surjewala, the media in charge for the AICC, demanded that Amit Shah and Vijay Rupani come forward and answer the allegations levelled by his party members.

Three more Congress MLAs Mansingh Chouhan, Ramsinh Parmar and Chhanabhai Chaudhary have resigned from the party and handed over their resignations to the Assembly speaker on Friday. With this, the count of Congress MLAs leaving the party has reached six.

Earlier on Friday, three Congress MLAs PI Patel, Balwantsinh Rajput and Tejashree Patel had resigned from the party, and joined the BJP, ahead of the state Assembly’s two-day monsoon session on 8-9 August and the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections on 8 August.

Soon after their resignation, the three MLAs arrived at the BJP office in Gandhinagar, where they were initiated into the party.

In the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, 57 were Congress members, until the MLA exodus began on Thursday, reducing the party’s strength to 51.

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