Two Congress lawmakers quit the Gujarat assembly today, apparently after voting against the party candidate in the ongoing by-polls for two Rajya Sabha seats.  Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala had rebelled against the party, complaining of unfair treatment.

Elections are being held for the seats of Amit Shah and Smriti Irani, who won the recently concluded Lok Sabha election. The BJP is expected to win on account of its numbers.

The BJP has 100 lawmakers and the Congress has 71. Other legislators eligible to cast their vote are two from the Bharatiya Tribal Party, one from the NCP and an Independent.

After quitting, Alpesh Thakore, who has a large following among the Other Backward Castes, said they were being “treated  unfairly” ever since they joined the party in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

“I joined because I trusted Rahul Gandhi, but unfortunately he couldn’t do anything. I came to work for the poor and the destitute and I couldn’t do any of it by being here since the past one-and-a-half-year,” he said.

“We were humiliated over and over again. The big leaders of the party would never listen to the small ones. Because of these reasons, I have resigned from my position,” Dhavalsinh Zala said, adding that he had repeatedly informed the party about this in writing.

The Congress has pitched Chandrika Chudasama and Gaurav Pandya for the election, against the BJP candidates – External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and OBC leader Juglaji Thakor.

“I have cast my vote for honest national leadership that wants to take the country to new heights. I cast vote as per my inner voice,” Mr Thakor was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India. “I got nothing other than mental stress being in Congress. I am free from that burden,” the OBC leader said.

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