Hours after the mass suspension, another rebel leaves the Gujarat BJP

BJP has penalized 19 MLAs so far, including Bhanu Bhai Chauhan, the districts vice president and a member of the Other Backward Castes . The party has now reduced to 99 MLAs in the 182-member assembly .

Ahmedabad, Gujarat-the BJP's stronghold for nearly three decades-has failed to contain the turmoil a week ahead of the assembly election.A new leader resigned from the party late this evening.The BJP has penalized 19 MLAs so far, including Bhanu Bhai Chauhan, the district's vice president and a member of the Other Backward Castes.On the list are a six-time MLA and two ex MLAs.

Most of the insurgents are battling their own constituency, areas where they have ruled for many terms.There are fears that this could lead to further paring down of the party's figures in other sections.The BJP numbers have steadily declined in recent years.The party has now reduced to 99 MLAs in the 182-member assembly, a huge shame for the organization, with Gujarat being the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

They argue that the departure of Arvind Kejriwals Aam Aadmi Party and Asaduddin Owaisis AIMIM would destabilize the Congress' votes, which had always been the state's main opposition party.Even though Mr Kejriwal has portrayed himself as the BJP's chief competitor, the AAP failed to claim responsibility in the previous election, warning that BJP officials are being excused.Vaghodia MLA Madhu Shrivastav, a strongman with a rap sheet featuring a case relating to the 2002 riots, has been suspended for the past two days.Besides, some of the party's main figures have resigned.

Mr Chauhan has joined the Confederacy.Ex Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela's son and former MLA, Mahendrasinh Vaghela, has also posted a featured video of the day.Has Rahul Gandhis Looks to Have Become A Poll Issue?

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