Gujarat Congress MLA Vallabhbhai Dharaviya resigned from the party on Monday, a day ahead of the Congress Working Committee meeting in Ahmedabad, PTI reported. He is the third Congress MLA to have resigned from the party in the past four days.

Dharaviya tendered his resignation from the Assembly to Speaker Rajendra Trivedi in the afternoon. “Dharaviya has resigned as Jamnagar (Rural) MLA,” confirmed Trivedi. “He told me he is resigning voluntarily.”

Hours later, Dharaviya joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, The Indian Express reported.

On March 8, Congress party’s Parsotam Sabariya had also resigned as Dhrangadhra MLA. He joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of its senior leaders IK Jadeja and KC Patel on Monday. Sabariya was arrested in October last year in connection with an irrigation scam and was granted bail by the Gujarat High Court last month.

Sabariya said he was not under pressure to join the BJP and claimed he was joining the saffron party to develop his constituency. “As far as the FIR is concerned, the law will take its own course, the BJP has to do nothing about it,” he said. “I am not joining the BJP to get any post or for other benefits.”

Congress MLA from Manavadar Jawahar Chavda had also quit the party and resigned from the Assembly on March 8. He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and was made a cabinet minister in the Vijay Rupani government the next day.

In July last year, senior Congress MLA Kunvarji Bavalia had resigned as legislator and was inducted in the ruling BJP government as a cabinet minister. Asha Patel, a first-time MLA from Mehsana, had last month resigned from the Congress and the House and also joined the BJP.

Apart from these five MLAs who quit the party in Gujarat, another Congress MLA was disqualified from the membership of the House on March 5 after he was convicted and given a two-year prison sentence in connection with an illegal mining case. Barad has challenged the Speaker’s decision to suspend him, Tv9 Gujarati reported.

The BJP now has 100 MLAs in the 182-member House, while the Congress has 71 legislators.