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Gujarat Congress MLA Asha Patel quits ahead of Lok Sabha poll

PTI reported that Asha Patel decided to resign as MLA and also quit from primary membership of the Congress due to factionalism and divisive politics of the party.

Gujarat Congress MLA Asha Patel quits ahead of Lok Sabha poll

AHMEDABAD: In a big blow for the Congress in Gujarat ahead of the upcoming General Election, Congress MLA from Unjha in Mehsana district on Saturday resigned from the party.

PTI reported that Asha Patel decided to resign as MLA and also quit from primary membership of the Congress due to factionalism and divisive politics of the party.

Asha sent her resignation letter to party President Rahul Gandhi, saying: "On one hand Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Section, while the Congress is trying to create a rift between different castes here."

The Congress MLA met Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi in Gandhinagar on Saturday and tendered her resignation, which was accepted by the Speaker.

Asha's resignation is of big political significance because Unjha is one of the seven Assembly segments within the Mahesana Lok Sabha constituency, currently held by the BJP. Of the seven Assembly segments, the BJP has won four, while the Congress holds three, including Unjha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hometown Vadnagar falls under the Unjha constituency. In 2017 Assembly elections, Asha Patel defeated Narayan Lalu Patel.

In her letter to the Congress president, Asha said she had resigned from the party "due to prevalent infighting and because the leadership has been ignoring me".

Commenting on Asha's decision, State Congress Chief Amit Chavda said it was likely that she has quit the party for "personal gains". "Till yesterday, she had not made any representation to the party," Chavda told PTI.

(with agency inputs)