Gandhinagar : Seven of the eight newly-elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members of the Gujarat Assembly took oath on Thursday, the auspicious day of ‘Labha Pancham’. One BJP MLA Akshay Patel was not present at the swearing-in ceremony. The by-elections were necessitated due to eight Congress MLAs resigning from the Assembly. The seven members who took oath are Pradyumansinh Jadeja from Abdasa, Vijay Patel from Dangs, JV Kakadiya from Dhari, Atmaram Parmar from Gadhada, Jeetu Chaudhari from Kaprada, Kiritsinh Rana from Limbdi and Brijesh Merja from Morbi.
Brijesh Merja from Morbi took oath in English while all the rest took oath in Gujarati. Akshay Patel from Karjan constituency was absent citing some personal reasons. He would be taking oath later. According to sources, he was on his way to Gandhinagar. The swearing-in ceremony was held in the Gujarat state assembly building in the presence of Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja and BJP whip Pankaj Desai were also present at the swearing-in ceremony along with other senior Cabinet ministers and party members.
Due to the Covid-19 guidelines, only a limited number of persons were allowed at the ceremony. In the recently held by-elections on November 3, the BJP won all the eight seats with a significant margin over its rival Congress’ candidates except the Morbi constituency. The by-elections were necessitated as eight of the Congress legislators had resigned, of which five had recently joined the BJP. The legislators had quit ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections held on four seats, indirectly helping Narhari Amin, the third candidate from the BJP, to gain entry into the Upper House.