New Delhi: Political tensions increased in Gujarat after four Congress MLAs tendered their resignation to Rajya Sabha Speaker Rajendra Trivedi on Sunday.
“Four Congress MLAs tendered their resignation to me on Saturday, and I will announce their names in the Assembly tomorrow [Monday],” the speaker told PTI. The resignations came ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections for the four seats in the state on March 26.
Following the announcement, the Congress moved at least 24 of its MLAs to Jaipur over fears of horse-trading.
If the resignations are accepted, the strength of the 182-Congress member House will come down to 176. In such a scenario, a nominee would require the support of at least 36 MLAs to get elected to the upper house from the state.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) currently has 103 MLAs in the assembly, and it can only send two of its candidates to the Rajya Sabha unless it manages cross-voting from the Congress to win the third seat. The saffron party would need the support of 108 MLAs, down from 111 after the resignation of four Congress legislator, to win three seats.
State BJP president Jitu Vaghani said the resignation of the four Congress legislators could lead the BJP to win three seats in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.
The BJP has fielded Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramila Bara and Narhari Amin for the Rajya Sabha election.
After the four resignations, Congress now has 69 MLAs in the assembly. The grand old party would need the support of at least 72 legislators to win two of the four seats. The party has fielded senior leaders Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki.
Apart from the parties mentioned earlier, the Bharatiya Tribal Party has two, and the Nationalist Congress Party has one MLA in the assembly. The support of these three MLAs would be crucial for both the BJP and Congress during the election. Jignesh Mevani is the only Independent legislator, however, on Friday, he pledged his support to the Congress.
(With PTI inputs)