Maverick Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor, his protégé quit after cross-voting for BJP

Rebel Congress legislators Alpesh Thakore and his protégé Dhavalsinh Jhala resigned as MLAs on Friday after cross-voting in favour of the BJP candidates in the Rajya Sabha by-elections, which were held earlier in the day.
Thakor and Jhala had quit all posts in the Congress in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in April, alleging ill-treatment by the party leadership.
With their votes, the BJP got two more than its strength of 100 MLAs, besides three others -- one of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and two of Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), thus polling 105 for its candidates, Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and OBC Cell member Jugalkishore Thakor.
After cross-voting by Thakor and Jhala, Congress got 69 votes besides one of Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani.
Giving clear indications, Alpesh Thakor said: "I have given my vote to a honest national leadership that wants to take the country to new heights. I went by my conscience."
The victory of the BJP candidates against Congress' Chandrika Chudasama and Gaurav Pandya was a foregone conclusion, on the basis of the party's own strength in the House of 182.
Alpesh Thakor, who is an OBC leader, said he and Jhala had quit the Congress over the unfair treatment meted out to them in the party. He had joined the Congress ahead of the 2017 state Assembly elections and won for the first time from the Radhanpur seat on the party's ticket.
Without giving more details, he told reporters: "I joined the Congress because of my immense faith in Rahul Gandhi, but unfortunately he couldn't do much. I came to work for the poor but did not get to do much. Instead, I only got mental stress in the Congress. I am free from the burden."
Dhavalsinh Zala said: "We were humiliated over and over again. The senior leaders simply ignored smaller ones. Because of these reasons, I have resigned from my position. I also stated this in writing but to no avail."

(Our News Desk can be contacted at

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