Three rebel Bharatiya Janata Party leaders elected as independent MLAs in the recently held Gujarat Assembly elections on Tuesday extended support to the ruling BJP in the State.
Ahead of commencement of the first session of the newly-formed 15th Legislative Assembly in Gandhinagar on Tuesday morning, the three independent MLAs - Dhavalsinh Zala, Dharmendrasinh Vaghela and Mavjibhai Desai - called on Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat at the Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar and informed him about their decision to support the BJP.
The three legislators also gave Mr. Devvrat letters of their support to the ruling party. In their letters, having common text, the MLAs said they decided to support the BJP as they were inspired by the pro-people work of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.
Later, the three legislators met newly-elected Assembly Speaker Shankar Chaudhary and conveyed their decision to support the ruling fold.
In the just-concluded Assembly elections, the BJP retained power by winning 156 out of the total 182 Assembly seats in the state.
The Congress bagged only 17 seats, five seats went to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), three seats were won by independents and one by the Samajwadi Party.
Mr. Zala, Mr. Vaghela and Mr. Desai were associated with the BJP before their decision to contest as independent candidates. They had been suspended by the BJP for contesting as independents.
Mr. Zala won from Bayad seat in Aravalli district, Mr. Vaghela from Waghodiya seat in Vadodara and Mr. Desai won from Dhanera seat in Banaskantha as independents after they were denied ticket by the BJP.
Talking to reporters outside the Raj Bhavan, the three MLAs justified their decision saying it will ensure development of their constituencies.
"Since the BJP is in power, the three of us have decided to extend support to the BJP government without any selfish motive. We only want to ensure the smooth implementation of developmental works in our constituencies," Mr. Zala said.
Expressing similar views, Mr. Vaghela said, "We have extended support to the BJP government for the people of our constituency and we also consulted them before taking this decision. I was with the BJP since the beginning."