Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor on Friday resigned from the assembly soon after voting for the BJP candidate in today’s Rajya Sabha polls for two seats. Thakor, who had joined the Congress just before the Gujarat assembly polls in 2017, said that he was resigning as an MLA because of the ill-treatment meted to him by the party leadership.
Also resigning as MLA was Dhavalsinh Zala, who too complained of unfair treatment. The BJP has 100 MLAs in the Gujarat assembly while the Congress has 71. The Bharatiya Tribal Party has two MLAs and the NCP one along with one Independent, who too were eligible to vote in today’s polls.
Out of 182 MLAs in the Gujarat assembly, only 175 legislators were qualified to vote in the Rajya Sabha by-elections.
The BJP fielded External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and OBC leader Juglaji Thakor while the Congress had nominated Chandrika Chudasama and Gaurav Pandya for today’s polls.
Thakor, according to news agency PTI, said, “I have cast my vote for honest national leadership that wants to take the country to new heights. I cast vote as per my inner voice.”
Dhavalsinh Zala, according to NDTV, said, “We were humiliated over and over again. The big leaders of the party would never listen to the small ones. Because of these reasons, I have resigned from my position.”
Today’s by-election is being held after two Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant as a result of BJP leaders Amit Shah and Smriti Irani, who were elected to the Lok Sabha, resigned.
The Congress had shifted 65 of its 71 MLAs to a resort two days ago to protect them from being poached by the BJP. The Congress had approached the Supreme Court against the Election Commission’s decision to hold the elections for the two seats separately. But the top court had refused to intervene in the matter.
Last month, the Congress had moved the Gujarat High Court seeking Thakor’s disqualification as MLA after he resigned from all posts in the party.