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‘Won’t Join BJP Even if My Body is Cut into Pieces’: Gujarat Congress MLAs Snub Reports of Defection

However, the recent statements from rebel Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor and BJP state president Jitu Vaghani added fuel to the ongoing speculations of ‘mass exodus’ in the Congress.

Vijaysinh Parmar | News18

Updated:May 29, 2019, 4:32 PM IST
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‘Won’t Join BJP Even if My Body is Cut into Pieces’: Gujarat Congress MLAs Snub Reports of Defection
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Ahmedabad: At a time when the Congress in Gujarat is grappling with its debacle in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the speculation of 'mass exodus' of Congress leaders to the BJP is keeping the grand old party on tenterhooks.

The rumours are rife that over 10 Congress MLAs might switch to the BJP.

Political observers believe that another ‘mass exodus’ from Congress to the ruling BJP will coincide with the upcoming elections for two Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, the BJP plans to retain both the Rajya Sabha seats which were vacated by BJP national president Amit Shah, who won from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat and Smriti Irani, who won from Amethi parliamentary seat.

However, the Congress leaders and its MLAs deny the speculations saying that the Congress is united and they will not join the ruling BJP.

“Even if my body is cut into 36 pieces, I will not join the BJP," asserted Vikram Madam, Congress MLA from Jamkhambhaliya.

“Those people who are spreading rumours about me joining the BJP are mad. I am not on sale. I have been travelling in my constituency for the last three days,’’ former Jamnagar MP told News18 Gujarati TV.

Another Congress MLA, Shivabhai Bhuriya, also denied reports of him joining the BJP.

“This is just a rumour and I haven’t met any BJP leader. I am with the Congress," said Shivabhai Bhuriya, an MLA from Deodar in Banaskantha.

The recent statements from rebel Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor and BJP state president Jitu Vaghani added fuel to the ongoing speculations of ‘mass exodus’ in the Congress.

Rebel Congress MLA from Radhanpur, Thakor, has said that at least 15 Congress MLAs would quit the party soon, while Jitu Vaghani claimed that the BJP would win both the Rajya Shabha seats, though it does not have the numbers.

The present strength of the Gujarat Assembly is 179 instead of 182, as three MLAs have been disqualified. As of now, the BJP’s strength is 103 and the Congress has 71 MLAs. The BTP has two MLAs, the NCP has one and there are two independent MLAs. One of them supports the BJP, while the other is supported by the Congress. With 71 MLAs, the Congress is comfortably placed to win one of the two seats vacated by Amit Shah and Smriti Irani.

In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won all the 26 Lok Sabha seats repeating its clean sweep of 2014 general elections.

| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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