The Gujarat unit of the Congress suffered yet another blow today when another party MLA resigned from the Assembly today, taking the total number of legislators to have quit to six. Ramsinh Parmar, seven-time MLA from Thasra constituency since 1990, submitted his letter of resignation to Speaker Ramanlal Vora.
The desertion of MLAs from the Congress Legislature Party is worrying for the party ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls on August 8, especially in view of leader Ahmed Patel’s bid for the Upper House.
Earlier in the day, Mansinh Chauhan, who represented Balasinor constituency, handed his resignation Vora. Late last night, Chhanabhai Chaudhary, the party legislator from Vansda, gave his resignation to the Speaker at the latter's residence.
With this, the Congress's tally has reduced to 51 in the 182-chair House.
The Congress is already rattled in the state, where the Assembly elections are due later this year, with veteran leader Shankarsinh Vaghela breaking ranks with the party last week.
Earlier, Balwantsinh Rajput, the party's chief whip in the Assembly, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel quit the party yesterday and straightaway joined the ruling BJP.
After resigning from the House and also all party posts, they had driven to the BJP office in Gandhinagar and joined the saffron party in the presence of its president Amit Shah.
Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani are the other two BJP candidates for the August 8 RS elections.
Of the total 11 Rajya Sabha members from the state, the term of three -- Irani and Dilipbhai Pandya (both BJP) and Ahmed Patel -- is ending on August 18.
The Congress has re-nominated Ahmed Patel, political secretary to party president Sonia Gandhi. The 67-year-old Congressman filed his nomination papers on Wednesday.