Ahmedabad: Just a day after three Congress MLAs from Gujarat resigned from the party and joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), two more MLAs of Congress tendered their resignation to the speaker on Friday.
Congress MLAs Mansingh Chouhan and Chhanabhai Chaudhary handed over their resignation to the speaker Ramanlal Vora.
Speaking on the issue, Gujarat Assembly Speaker Ramanbhai Vora said nine MLAs have given resignation since Thursday, but he received only five resignations in paper.
"I got the resignation of the three MLAs of Gujarat yesterday. Sana Bhai Choudhari gave me his resignation. Maan Singh Chauhan gave me his resignation today. No one has asked for the time, whoever will come to my office, I will talk to them," he added.
The resignation is seen as a major blow to Congress ahead of the Rajya Sabha election.
The resignation of two more MLAs on Friday has reduced Congress's tally to 52 in the 182-seat assembly.
The MLAs who have tendered their resignation on Thursday are considered close to former opposition leader Shankarsinh Vaghela resigned from the assembly.
On Thursday Balwantsinh Rajput (who was also the chief whip), Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel had resigned.
The development came at a time when the Congress has fielded its senior leader Ahmed Patel as its candidate for the Upper House in the election scheduled for August 8.
The Congress nominee can sail through if he musters the support of 47 MLAs and the party is able to guard against further desertions from its legislative arm.
The presidential election had seen cross-voting by Congress legislators as the opposition candidate Meira Kumar could garner votes of only 49 legislators against the Congress's strength of 57 in the Assembly then.
The setback for the Congress comes almost a week after Vaghela left the party and also resigned as the Leader of Opposition. However, he continues to be an MLA.
Ahmed Patel, political secretary of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on Wednesday filed his nomination papers from Gujarat for the Rajya Sabha polls.
Of the total 11 Rajya Sabha members from the state, the term of three of them — Smriti Irani, Dilipbhai Pandya (both BJP) and Ahmed Patel — is ending on August 18.
BJP President Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani have filed their nomination on Friday and will contest for Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat.
Currently, Shah is an MLA from Gujarat's Naranpura constituency....