regular-article-logo Monday, 22 April 2024

Day after quitting Congress, party's former Gujarat chief Arjun Modhwadia, another ex-functionary Ambarish Der join BJP

The two leaders joined the saffron party at its state headquarters 'Kamalam' here along with several others

PTI Gandhinagar Published 05.03.24, 01:39 PM
Gujarat chief Arjun Modhwadia joins BJP

Gujarat chief Arjun Modhwadia joins BJP Screengrab/ PTI

Former Gujarat Congress chief and ex-MLA Arjun Modhwadia along with the party's former working president Ambarish Der joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday, a day after they quit the grand old party.

The two leaders joined the saffron party at its state headquarters 'Kamalam' here along with several others.


State BJP chief C R Paatil inducted them into the party by offering them saffron caps and scarves.

The two leaders resigned on Monday expressing anguish over the party's decision to "boycott" Lord Ram temple consecration ceremony held in Ayodhya in January.

Interestingly, both leaders announced their decision to quit the Congress just three days ahead of the scheduled entry of Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Gujarat.

Days before Der and Modhwadia quit Congress, the party's Rajya Sabha member and former Union minister Naran Rathwa joined the ruling BJP along with his son and a large number of supporters.

Modhwadia, who represented the Porbandar seat, submitted his resignation as an MLA to Gujarat assembly Speaker Shankar Chaudhary in Gandhinagar on Monday evening. The speaker's office confirmed that the resignation has been accepted.

One of the senior-most and most influential opposition leaders in Gujarat, Modhwadia, 67, was associated with the Congress for nearly 40 years. He had also served as the leader of the opposition and as the state unit president.

He defeated BJP heavyweight Babu Bokhiria in the 2022 assembly elections.

With Modhwadia's resignation, the Congress' effective strength in the 182-member assembly has come down to 14.

Modhwadia is the third MLA of Congress to resign in the last four months after Chirag Patel and CJ Chavda, who quit in December and January, respectively.

Der, 46, represented the Rajula assembly seat in Amreli district from 2017 to 2022 as a Congress MLA.

He had defeated BJP heavyweight Hira Solanki, the younger brother of state minister Parshottam Solanki, in the 2017 elections.

Ahead of the 2022 Gujarat assembly polls, Der was assigned the charge of Congress working president. He remained on the post despite losing to arch-rival Hira Solanki in the elections.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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