The ruling BJP in Gujarat has improved its strength to 104 in the 182-member House with four MLAs, who were previously with the Congress, winning the recently-held bypolls as BJP candidates. All the four legislators were Tuesday administered oath by Assembly speaker Rajendra Trivedi.
The MLAs Jawahar Chavda, Parsotam Sabariya, Raghavji Patel, and Asha Patel have won the bypolls to Manavadar, Dhrangadhra, Jamnagar (rural) and Unjha assembly constituencies, respectively. The byelections were held on April 23 along with the Lok Sabha polls, results for which were declared on May 23.
The MLAs took oath at the Speaker's chamber in the Assembly building in the presence of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, BJP state unit president Jitu Vaghani, ministers Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and Pradipsinh Jadeja among others. The BJP now has 104 members in the House.
While Chavda, Asha Patel, and Sabariya quit the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, former MLA Raghavji Patel had joined the BJP two years ago after voting against Congress leader Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha election held in August 2017. Raghavji Patel had lost to Congress' Vallabh Dharaviya in the Assembly polls held in December 2017.
The Jamnagar (Rural) seat fell vacant after Dharaviya joined the BJP. The Congress is now left with 71 legislators. In the Assembly elections held in 2017, the BJP had won 99 seats and the Congress 77.