By Madhusree Chowdhury
When the Rajya Sabha elections are knocking the door, three MLAs left Congress and joined BJP in Gujarat. Balwantsinh Rajput, Dr. Tejshree Patel, and Prahlad Patel took the decision and left their party to join BJP when Amit Shah arrived in the Gandhinagar headquarters.
Rajput is the brother-in-law of Shankersinh Vaghela, the former Chief Minister. He was announced as the third candidate for the elections to be held on 8th August. Rajput will now file a nomination for RS elections along with Smiriti Irani and Amit Shah.
These three resignations happened consecutively when Ahmed Patel claimed support from Vaghela and filed his fifth nomination. On the same note, Vaghela delinked himself on 21st July from Congress when he found that 11 MLAs from his party voted for Ram Nath Kovind.
As per the reliable sources, those MLAs who have been the best supporters of Vaghela will take up the same step like the three MLAs. This might occur before the polls. The list of such MLAs includes Vaghela’s son Mahendrasinh and Raghavji Patel too. Ahmed Patel will need a minimum of 46 votes of total 54 MLAs in Congress.
After the resignation, the count of MLAs reduced to 179 in the assembly. BJP will need to secure 92 votes between Irani and Shah. In the same aspect, BJP already has 121 MLAs which means the party will have 29 votes extra in spare.
The cross-voting incident revealed that Congress lost 11 votes and three more changed sides by resigning and joining BJP. BJP is trying hard to get another candidate as the cross-voting and resignation confirmed the position. The third candidate will need 8 additional votes to win.
Jitu Vaghani, the state president of BJP, welcomed the three resigned candidates in the party. The resigned MLAs also depicted that they were unable to work with the previous party. Spurring controversies, Dr. Manish Dhoshi, Congress spokesperson, said that they will stop BJP and Ahmed will surely win.