Congress MLAs are frustrated with party's ideology: BJP

Congress MLAs are frustrated with party's ideology: BJP

Congress MLAs are frustrated with party's ideology: BJP

Congress suffered another setback in Gujarat on Thursday as three of its MLAs quit the party to join the BJP. Vora said that these three will not be able to vote in the Rajya Sabha elections due on August 8, as they are no longer members of the House. The issue also rocked the Rajya Sabha, which witnessed repeated adjournments as angry Congress members accused the BJP of "stealing" party lawmakers.

The Congress has warned its legislators that any cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha elections will invite disqualification for six years from the party. Union Minister Parshottam Rupala sought to counter the charge saying it was an internal matter of the Congress, whose MLAs, including the leader of the party in the state assembly, were deserting it.

While the BJP is aiming to increase its numbers in the Rajya Sabha, defeating Patel-the only Muslim parliamentarian from Gujarat-could also mean taking out a key strategist who despite a low key profile has always remained at the helm of affairs in the Congress.

Congress strategists fear more desertions, considering that 11 party MLAs had said to have cross-voted for the BJP-led NDA candidate, Ram Nath Kovind, in the July 17 presidential election.

The BJP dismissed the allegations but the two parties traded barbs in the Rajya Sabha, leading to repeated disruptions.

Following repeated adjournments earlier on, the Rajya Sabha was on Friday adjourned for the day soon after it met after lunch, amid a ruckus by Opposition and treasury benches.

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BJP president Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani are the other two party candidates.

Patel, a legislator from Jamnagar (rural) constituency in Saurashtra, said: "I also want to go to the BJP and there are others who are also preparing for it".

"To hide their failure, BJP is trying to make sure our MLAs resign by offering money and through police pressure", he said.

"Shri Punabhai Gambit is a Scheduled Tribes Congress MLA, who had been elected a third time. I have worked for the party for 25 long years", Tejashree Patel, a firebrand woman leader and one of the most active legislators of the Congress in the state Assembly, bemoaned.

BJP national president Amit Shah arrived in Ahmedabad on Thursday afternoon and reached party's state office Shri Kamalam near Koba.

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