Amit Shah To Be Defence Minister, Om Mathur BJP President?

BJP Chief Amit Shah To Contest August 8 Rajya Sabha Polls From Gujarat

The tally since Thursday is five.

Three senior Gujarat Congress legislators on Thursday resigned from the party and joined the BJP in a huff, expressing their anger against the Congress for ignoring their aspirations.

Rajput, the Congress' chief whip in the State Assembly, Tejashree Patel and PI Patel, who quit the party, are believed to be staunch supporters of Vaghela.

Yesterday, three party MLAs, considered to be close to Vaghela, quit the Congress and joined the BJP, which quickly declared one of them its candidate for next month's Rajya Sabha polls against Congress veteran Ahmed Patel. Singhvi also accused the BJP of adopting unlawful measures with the use of money and power to force the Congress MLAs to switch sides and quit the assembly. In such circumstances, it is not possible for me to work for Congress party, due to this I resign from all the posts of Congress.

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Asked to react, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Nitin Patel dismissed the allegations. On Friday, one of the Congress turncoats, Balwantsinh Rajput, filed his nomination as the third BJP candidate.

As many as 44 of the remaining 51 Congress MLAs left for Bengaluru, majority by 11.45 p.m. Indigo flight from Ahmedabad to Bengaluru in Congress-ruled Karnataka while the others from South Gujarat and Saurashtra flew off through Mumbai to the South Indian metropolis.

First hints of the impending reshuffle were given when BJP president Amit Shah made a decision to fight upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.

After giving his resignation, Mansinh Chauhan said he was exhausted of "internal politics and groupism" in the Congress.

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In a major setback to the Congress in Gujarat, two more Congress MLAs resigned from the party as the turmoil in Gujrat reached a feverish pace.

The party has not identified the MLAs who cross-voted.

In a media statement earlier this week, Vaghela said that Patel had offered him a Rajya Sabha seat but he had turned it down.

Meanwhile, Congress launched a scathing attack on the BJP for attempting to try and poach its MLAs by hook or by crook.

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Ahmed Patel, Congress president Sonia Gandhi's political secretary and a key strategist for the party, who is trying for re-election for a fifth term in the upper house, faces serious challenge from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) this time around.

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