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Three days ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’s Gujarat leg, a big setback came for Congress as two key party leaders resigned from the grand old party. Congress MLA and former president of the party’s Gujarat unit Arjun Modhwadia resigned from the assembly and the party while the party’s working president of the Gujarat unit Ambarish Der also resigned leaving the party in troubled waters ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Two Big Leaders Quit Congress

Modhwadia submitted his resignation to the state Assembly Speaker. He was among the Congress CM contenders during the 2017 polls. Addressing the media, Modhwadia said, “When a party loses its connection with the people, it cannot survive for long. The people of the country wanted the Ram Temple to be constructed. The Congress had also decided that after a constitutional verdict from the Supreme Court, we would support it. Even then the invitation to the Pran Pratishtha was declined. I raised my voice then too, that this would hurt the public sentiment and we should not make such political decisions and that decision showed a lack of connection with the people. I tried to convey my message in several other matters, but I was not successful. Finally, I decided to resign today.”

The party’s Gujarat unit working president Ambarish Der also resigned from the party and said he will join the ruling BJP on Tuesday. His resignation came after the party suspended Der from all posts and as a primary member of the Congress for a period of six years for his ‘anti-party activities’.

Earlier in the day, Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president CR Paatil visited Der’s residence in Ahmedabad. Der also said that he was upset with the party’s stand on Ram temple in Ayodhya. The 46-year-old former MLA claimed it will be his “home-coming” as he was with the BJP in the past and worked extensively for it when he was young.

Der had represented the Rajula seat in the Amreli district from 2017 to 2022 as the Congress MLA. He had defeated BJP’s heavyweight Hira Solanki, the younger brother of state minister Parshottam Solanki. Ahead of the 2022 Gujarat assembly polls, Der was made the Congress working president and remained on the post despite suffering defeat at the hands of his arch rival Hira Solanki.

Assembly, Lok Sabha Polls Speculation

While there is speculation that Hira Solanki might be asked to resign as the Rajula MLA and fielded from the Bhavnagar Lok Sabha seat, and Der might be the BJP candidate for the Rajula seat bypoll. The BJP might field one of the two leaders in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Rahul Gandhi’s Nyay Yatra

Rahul Gandhi’s Nyay Yatra will enter Gujarat on March 7 and will cover 400 kilometres across seven districts over four days. During this, Rahul Gandhi will offer prayers at temples and visit the historic Swaraj Ashram at Bardoli to pay tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. “There will be 27 corner meetings and six public gatherings as part of the yatra’s Gujarat leg. Some of the distance will be covered using cars and buses, while foot marches will be held in urban areas,” said the Congress. 

The yatra, which began in the strife-torn Manipur, will culminate in Mumbai on March 20-21 after covering 6,713 kilometres across 110 districts over a period of 67 days, as per party leaders.