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Rajya Sabha poll: Gujarat Congress flies 67 MLAs to Jaipur, one MLA unreachable

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat Congress on Monday completed shifting 67 of its 68 MLAs from the state to Jaipur in view of the Rajya Sabha polls on March 26, while five of its legislators have submitted their resignations from the Assembly.

One MLA is unreachable, said a Congress leader.

The party had a strength of 73 in the 182-member House which has now come down to 68 after the Assembly speaker accepted resignations of five legislators.

While 42 MLAs were shifted in different batches in the last two days, a group of 25 MLAs left for Jaipur on a flight from Ahmedabad airport, soon after staging a walkout in the Assembly during the budget session.

The budget session will continue till the end of this month.

One of its MLAs, Jitu Chaudhary, from Kaprada (ST) seat in Valsad district, could not be contacted, said Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi.

“All Congress MLAs, except one, have left for Jaipur, with the last batch of 25 MLAs, including state chief Amit Chavda and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Paresh Dhanani, leaving on a flight from Ahmedabad airport,” Doshi said.

“MLA Jitu Chaudhary could not be contacted as he missed his flight today.

His mobile phone is switched off,” he said.

The Congress is shifting its MLAs outside Gujarat in order to avoid cross-voting during the RS election.

It has fielded senior leaders Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki for the RS polls, while BJP has fielded Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramila Bara and Narhari Amin.

As per Assembly strength, the BJP can win two seats, while it will have ensure cross-voting from the opposition camp to win the third seat.

In the 182-seat Assembly, BJP has 103 seats, the Congress 68 (after the resignation of its five MLAs), while two seats belong to the Bharatiya Tribal Party and one to Nationalist Congress Party.

The lone Independent MLA, Jignesh Mevani, has extended support to the Congress.

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