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Over the period of 2 days, Gujarat Congress has lost 5 lawmakers as two more legislators quit the party on Friday after three had quit on Thursday. The recent spur of resignations from the Gujarat Congress party are being seen as 'political vengeance' designed by veteran politician Shankersinh Vaghela who left the party last week.
The lawmakers who quit on Friday are Mansinh Chauhan and Sanabhai Chaudhary. The three Congress leaders who quit on Thursday, namely Balwantsinh Rajput, senior leader Tejashree Patel and PI Patel were welcomed into the BJP by the party's state chief Jitendra Vaghani.
Meanwhile, BJP national chief Amit Shah, a five-term Gujarat legislator, has filed his nomination on Friday morning for the next week Rajya Sabha elections and union minister Smriti Irani is also expected to file her nominations as her Rajya Sabha term ends next month.
Balwantsinh Rajput, a close relative of Vaghela is being fielded by the BJP opposite Ahmed Patel, political advisor to Congress President Sonia Gandhi. If defeated, Patel's loss would impact the Congress significantly in the Gujarat assembly polls this year as well as affecting the 2019 national elections.
According to reports, the cross-voting is being seen as a signal from Vaghela to the Congress that it had underestimated his ability to damage the party. Vaghela's tensions with the Congress increased since the party refused to project him as the possible chief minister candidate for the assembly elections this year.
Although Vaghela has stated he won't return to BJP which he left in 1996, recent meetings with Amit Shah and other BJP leaders hint that the option might not be a closed door yet.