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'Rebel Congress MLAs in Gujarat, except Vaghela, to join BJP'

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

Ten MLAs in Gujarat, including the seven who defied the party whip and voted for candidates in the just-concluded polls in the state, would join the saffron party soon, former leader Shankersinh Vaghela's son Mahendrasinh said in Gandhinagar today.

However, his father, who was among the eight MLAs who were expelled by the yesterday, would not join the ruling party, he added.

Of the 10 MLAs, eight including Vaghela and his son, who had voted for the candidates in the poll, were expelled by the Congress yesterday.

"Apart from these seven MLAs, three others, who had tendered their resignations last month, will join the in the days to come. My father is not joining the BJP. I thank the Congress for expelling us," said Mahendrasinh, the from Bayad in Sabarkantha district.

"All the 10 MLAs, including me, have discussed the issue and decided to switch over. We have already had talks with Amit Shah, state Jitubhai Vaghani and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani," he told reporters.

On August 8, eight Congress MLAs had voted for the BJP candidates in the election for three seats from

These MLAs were -- and his son Mahendrasinh, C K Raulji, Raghavjee Patel, Bholabhai Gohel, Amit Chaudhary, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Karamshi Patel.

Besides, six Congress MLAs had resigned last month, ahead of the election to the Upper House of Parliament. Of them, Balwantsinh Rajput, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel joined the ruling party, while Ramsinh Parmar, Chhanabhai Chaudhary and Mansinh Chauhan were yet to take any decision on their future course of action.

The BJP had fielded Rajput as its third candidate in the Rajya Sabha poll, in a bid to defeat Congress nominee Ahmed Patel, but he lost, despite cross-voting by the Congress MLAs.

Talking to reporters in Gandhinagar today, said the BJP "will take care" of the MLAs who cross- voted, adding that he himself would not join the saffron party.

"Though I voted for the BJP (in the RS poll), I am not joining it. The other MLAs, who voted for the BJP, can join the party. The Congress need not worry about them now. Since they voted for the BJP, the saffron party will take care of them," Vaghela said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 10 2017. 18:22 IST