AHMEDABAD: Former Gujarat Congress MLA Amit Chaudhary, who had cross voted in the recently held Rajya Sabha polls before giving his resignation, today joined the ruling BJP.
Chaudhary along with his supporters joined the BJP in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy CM Nitin Patel and state BJP president Jitubhai Vaghani at a function held in his constituency of Manasa in Gandhinagar district.
Speaking on the occasion, Rupani expressed confidence that the BJP will once again come to power in Gujarat with a thumping majority, said a government release.
"People are joining the BJP because we believe in the politics of development, not vote bank politics. I am confident that Chaudhary and his supporters will take forward the BJP's development agenda ahead," said Rupani.
With this fresh induction, six former Congress MLAs have joined the BJP during the last one week while three had joined ahead of the Rajya Sabha poll.
Others who had joined BJP during last one week include Ramsinh Parmar, Mansinh Chauhan, Karamshi Patel, C K Raulji and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja.
On August 21, Rupani had announced that the former Congress MLAs, who either resigned ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha polls or voted against Congress candidate Ahmed Patel, will join the BJP soon.
A total of thirteen Congress MLAs, loyalists of former Congress strongman Shankersinh Vaghela, resigned from the party ahead of or after the August 8 election, along with Vaghela himself.
Balwantsinh Rajput, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel had already joined the BJP before the election. Vaghela hasn't yet revealed his own plans.
Remaining four former MLAs -- Vaghela's son Mahendrasinh, Bholabhai Gohel, Chhanabhai Chaudhary and Raghavji Patel -- are expected to follow suit in the days to come.
Ahmed Patel won the close contest amid cross-voting by rebel Congress MLAs, including the Vaghela father-son duo, defeating the BJP's Balwantsinh Rajput.
In 182-member Assembly, whose strength is now reduced to 168 following the resignations of 14 MLAs, the BJP has 122 members, Congress 43, NCP 2 and JD(U) one.
Assembly elections are due in the state later this year.