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Amit Shah, Smriti Irani file nomination for RS elections from Gujarat

Amit Shah, Smriti Irani file nomination for RS elections from Gujarat

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on Friday filed their nominations for Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat.

The lawmakers, who resigned from Congress, are considered close to Shankarsinh Vaghela, who exited the Congress last week over the party's decision not to project him as Chief Minister in assembly elections due later this year.

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.

Three MLAs, Balwantsinh Rajput, Tejashree Patel and P.I. Patel, quit on Thursday and joined the BJP, while three more submitted their resignations to Speaker Ramanlal Vora on Friday but did not join the BJP till evening.

Ramsinh Parmar claimed that he did not quit the party keeping the Rajya Sabha polls in mind.

Congress chief whip Shailesh Parmar said, "44 MLAs are flying out together to Bengaluru".

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi alleged that BJP has spent crores of rupess in horse trading to attract the Congress leaders. Congress, the main opposition party in the Gujarat Assembly, also has the support of two NCP legislators and the lone JD (U) MLA.

The resignations also follows the cross voting by at least 11 Congress MLAs in the recently held presidential elections.

According to sources, more Congress MLAs, who are seen as staunch supporters of Vaghela, are likely to resign before the RS polls. Nationalist Congress Party has backed Patel's nomination.

First hints of the impending reshuffle were given when BJP president Amit Shah chose to fight upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. "Therefore, this shows the frustration of party MLAs", BJP leader Bharat Pandya told ANI.

"BJP is stealing our MLAs".

"Shri Punabhai Gambit is a Scheduled Tribes Congress MLA, who had been elected a third time". They later drove to the BJP office in Gandhinagar and joined the saffron party in the presence of its president Amit Shah.

After seven sitting Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) left the Indian National Congress in Gujarat, the party today chose to fly down the remaining MLAs to Bangalore.

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