Within months after the Congress had put up a shocker of a performance at the ballot, by hemming the BJP’s share to 99 in the 182-seat Gujarat Assembly in December 2017, the party has lost eight of its MLAs.
Five of them have joined the BJP and three others – Alpesh and his two aides, who quit the party earlier this week – are expected to join at an ‘appropriate’ time. Radhanpur MLA Alpesh Thakor has quit the Congress, and his loyalists Dhavalsinh Zala and Bharat Thakor are now threatening to quit the party.
They have said that they will not resign as MLAs and should be considered as independent MLAs.
Meanwhile, the Congress has a bigger problem – its tally in the Assembly has reduced to 69 seats. The high-profile campaigners, who used to lead the anti-BJP front during the 2017 elections, are not in the limelight anymore.
Hardik Patel is also unable to contest the elections as he is convicted in a riot case.
So the question arises as what is causing this disenchantment with the Congress.
“Political leaders who grow on the strength of their constituency are unable to show results sitting in the Opposition benches,” a political observer said.
The Congress is expected to take a hit at on four seats in North Gujarat with the exits. A ‘strong syndicate’ existed between Hardik, Jignesh Mevani and Alpesh, however, now, Mevani and Hardik seem to be distancing themselves from Alpesh.
“Rahul Gandhi appointed Alpesh the AICC General Secretary, and gave him a ticket to contest polls. There is no committee in the Congress that he is not a part of. Isn’t this the respect he is talking about?” Hardik questioned.
Meanwhile, Mevani tweeted, “Alpesh knows the reasons for his resignation the best, but please don’t join the BJP as their policies are never in favour of the Thakor community or any other poor sections of the society.”