Key Gujarat Congress MLA quits, set to join BJP
By  IANS | Updated:  Mar 08, 2019, 05:13 PM
In yet another setback to the Congress in Gujarat, the party's sitting legislator Jawahar Chavda from Manavadar constituency in Saurashtra region, put in his papers here on Friday and was all set to join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
BJP sources said Chavda would join the party by Friday evening and might even be made a minister immediately.
Chavda submitted his resignation as a MLA to Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi who accepted it forthwith.
Chavda, son of Congress veteran Pethalji Chavda of Junagadh district, won from Manavadar in four consecutive elections and this has been a Congress fort.
Senior Congress legislator Shailesh Parmar, speaking on behalf of the party, told reporters: "We are shocked at Chavda's resignation since he had never raised any issues nor has he given any reasons for quitting. In fact, he has been given important responsibilities ahead of the CWC (Congress Working Committee) meeting in Ahmedabad (on March 12)."
"The Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to sabotage the Congress prospects knowing well that the party can never repeat its 2014 performance of winning 26 out of 26 (Lok Sabha) seats. It is playing a dirty game," he added.
Political circles are agog with speculation that at least three more Congress legislators are in touch with the BJP leadership and may quit anytime soon.
This includes OBC leader and young legislator Alpesh Thakore, who had joined the Congress in the run up to the 2017 assembly elections.
While Thakore has been denying any such moves, it is public knowledge that he has had meetings with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and BJP chief Jitubhai Vaghani. Simultaneously, he has also met Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Chavda's resignation comes days after Congress MLA from Unjha, Asha Patel joined the BJP. Months ago, key Congress MLA Kunwarji Bawalia joined the BJP and was made a cabinet minister the same day.
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