A day after the Gujarat Rajya Sabha poll results went in the Congress' favour, the party has expelled eight MLAs including former chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela for six years for anti-party activities.
"We have expelled them for six years as they defied the party whip and cross-voted. We will take action against them under the anti-defection law also," Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
AICC general secretary incharge of Gujarat unit Ashok Gehlot said he has also recommended the expulsion of six of its legislators who had earlier resigned as MLAs. Three of them had later joined BJP. Asserting that indiscipline will not be tolerated in the Congress, Gehlot said those expelled were indulging in anti- party activities.
Gehlot also thanked the Gujarat unit of the party for the victory of Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in the RS poll.
"It is Congress party's unity in Gujarat which has ensured Ahmed Patel ji's victory in Rajya Sabha Polls," he said.
The Gujarat Congress spokesman Manish Doshi said the eight MLAs were expelled for cross-voting in favour of BJP candidates defying the whip issued by the party.
These MLAs are: Shankarsinh Vaghela, his son Mahendrasinh, Raghavji Patel, Bhola Gohil, Dharmendra Jadeja, P K Raulji, Amit Chaudhary, Karan Patel.
Congress candidate Ahmed Patel clinched his fifth straight Rajya Sabha seat, in a bitterly fought election in Gujarat after late night dramatic developments saw the Election Commission reject votes of two dissident MLAs for violating electoral rules.
The disqualification had brought down the number of first preference votes a candidate needed to win from 45 to 44. Patel had polled exactly 44 votes.