Gujarat Election 2022: New Blow To Congress As Third MLA Quits In 2 Days

Gujarat Election 2022: New Blow To Congress As Third MLA Quits In 2 Days

New Delhi: With less than a month left for Gujarat Assembly polls, the Congress party suffered blow after three of its MLAs switched sides with the Bharatiya Janata Party. On Wednesday night, Congress MLA from Jhalod in Gujarat’s Dahod district Bhavesh Katara resigned as legislator, reported news agency PTI. 

Katara has been the third MLA to resign from Congress and join the saffron party. 

Katara went to the residence of assembly Speaker Nimaben Acharya and submitted his resignation to her, an official statement said, quoted by the news agency. 

His resignation comes at a time when the BJP is finalising candidates for the Gujarat Assembly elections. Katara is likely to join the BJP on Thursday.

In the last two days, two other Congress MLAs, Mohansinh Rathwa and Bhagwan Barad resigned from the party. 

11-time MLA Mohansinh Rathwa joined the BJP on Tuesday. Rathwa, who is the MLA from the Chhota Udaipur (Scheduled Tribes, or ST) constituency, joined BJP in the presence of state general secretaries Bhargav Bhatt and Pradeepsinh Vaghela.

Rathwa’s sons Rajendrasinh and Ranjitsinh also joined the BJP at the event.

Gujarat will vote in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 8 along with that of Himachal polls.

Congress legislator from Talala in Gujarat’s Gir Somnath district Bhagabhai Barad on Wednesday resigned as MLA as well as from the party’s primary membership, and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Barad, who belongs to the Aahir community, is a three-time MLA from Talala constituency. 

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The seat is considered a Congress stronghold. In the last 10 assembly elections, BJP could register victory here only twice — in 1995 and 2002.

After joining BJP, Barad told mediapersons: “… we are not ‘real Congress’, other than this, I would not like to make any comments on the Congress party. I am influenced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development model… so I joined the party and will work for the party as its soldier,” quoted by news agency IANS. 

(With inputs from agencies)