There is always a fuss about Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections and with the third Congress MLA resigning from the party, it is pretty clear that the BJP is looking for maximum gain there. Gujarat is home state of PM Narendra Modi, HM Amit Shah and also the top Congress leader Ahmed Patel.
The Congress legislator Brijesh Merja resigned from the Assembly. Two Congress legislators -- Akshay Patel and Jitu Chaudhary – already resigned from the assembly on June 4.
It is pertinent to note here that with the resignation of Merja, the chances of the Congress winning the second Rajya Sabha seat becomes bleak as its tally in the 182-member House has now gone down to 65. Five Congress MLAs — Somabhai Patel, Praveen Maru, JV Kakadia, Mangal Gavit and Pradyuman Singh Jadeja — had resigned in March.
At present, the total strength of the Gujarat assembly is 172. The ruling BJP has 103 legislators, the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) two and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) one. There is one Independent legislator Jignesh Mevani.
The Congress has already fielded its senior leaders Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki, while the ruling BJP has named Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin as its candidates.
The Rajya Sabha elections, earlier scheduled to be held on March 26, were deferred due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent imposition of the nationwide lockdown from March 25. Last time the BJP tried to win one more seat but Ahmed Patel managed to win the Rajya Sabha seat but apparently, this time round the BJP will secure three seats in Gujarat.
Meanwhile, the Congress named veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge as its candidate for the June 19 Rajya Sabha elections from Karnataka.