Gujarat Congress MLA Asha Patel quits
A Congress MLA in Gujarat, Asha Patel resigned as a member of the assembly and from the party membership Saturday on account of "infighting".
Patel, who represents Unjha constituency in Mehsana district, submitted her resignation to Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi in Gandhinagar this morning.
The Speaker has accepted the resignation.
Patel's exit is seen as a blow to the Congress as she had snatched Unjha seat from the BJP in 2017 assembly polls.
Unjha is one of the seven assembly constituencies that are part of Mahesana Lok Sabha seat, currently held by the BJP. Of the seven segments, the BJP holds four while the Congress three, including Unjha.
Patel has written a letter to party president Rahul Gandhi announcing her resignation.
"I have resigned from the party due to prevalent infighting and because the leadership has been ignoring me," she told reporters.
Patel also claimed that her representations regarding the state of affairs in the Gujarat unit have not been heeded since the last one year.
Responding to a query whether she would join the ruling BJP, Patel said she would consult the people of her constituency before taking any decision.
When contacted, state unit Congress president Amit Chavda said it seems Patel had taken this decision for her "personal gain".
"Till yesterday, she had not made any representation to the party," Chavda added.
Earlier, Congress MLA Kunvarji Bavaliya had switched sides and joined the BJP.
In the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP had won 99 seats in the 182-member House while the Congress 77 seats.