Even as seven Congress MLAs, who voted in favour of the BJP in the recently concluded Rajya Sabha elections, are all set to join the saffron party, the Congress is confident that their absence won't make any difference to it.
Former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela's son Mahendrasinh is among those who are to join the BJP. Mahendrasinh said that he had a meeting with national BJP president Amit Shah and they would join as party workers.
These MLAs had also not accompanied the 44 MLAs to Bengaluru. The MLAs were put up at Eagleton Resort near Bengaluru after many of them complained of alleged “horse trading and threats” by the BJP ahead of the polls. The BJP has denied the allegations.
Former state Congress president Arjun Modhwadia told THE WEEK that the MLAs joining BJP won't affect the party as these MLAs had lost their credibility. People say a lot of things about them, he said, adding that only they would know whether they took anything or not.
Coinciding with the anniversary of Quit India Movement on August 9, the Congress gave a slogan of “Quit BJP from Gujarat”.
Modhwadia said that in the past when Vaghela had defected from the BJP with 45 MLAs, all the MLAs except four had lost their deposits.
This time also, if the BJP gives tickets to Congress rebels then they would lose their deposits, Modhwadia sounded confident and added that people do not like rebels.
In fact, even before Jamnagar (Rural) MLA Raghavji Patel joins the BJP formally, a large number of Congress workers had protested against him and flayed him for leaving the Congress and his growing closeness to the BJP.