AHMEDABAD: The Congress today suspended 177 elected Panchayat members in Gujarat for disobeying the party whip in the last month's election for the posts of presidents and vice presidents of district and taluka panchayats.
"These 177 members who were elected on the Congress symbol have been suspended from the party for a period of six years by the Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda for either remaining absent during the internal election or by giving their votes to a candidate of a rival party," said Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi.
Of them, 35 are district panchayat members while 142 are members of taluka panchayats.
Local bodies in Gujarat, though having a tenure of five years, elect new heads midway through the term.
Elections for the posts of presidents and vice presidents of over 230 taluka panchayats and 31 district panchayats were held last month.
"Instead of following the whip issued to them, these members had either remained absent during that internal election or gave their vote to a candidate of another party. In coming days, we would also take legal course to disqualify these members," said Doshi.
The Congress had lost five of its district panchayats to the ruling BJP due to cross-voting by the party councillors during these elections.
The BJP had wrested Ahmedabad, Patan, Bhavnagar, Mahisagar and Dahod district panchayats.
The Congress had also lost some taluka panchayats due to the cross-voting.