Gujarat RS polls: Two Congress MLAs admit voting for BJP

Jerome Frank
August 9, 2017

Chotubhai Vasava, the lone Janata Dal (United) legislator in the Gujarat assembly, voted for BJP, JD (U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said.

Gujarat: Alleging that he was being targeted by the BJP, veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Monday expressed confidence that he will win Tuesday's Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat. Ahmed Patel is the political advisor to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and if he loses, it will create a huge embarrassment for the party. The third seat has become a virtual head to head fight between Ahmed Patel and BJP's Balwantsinh Rajput.

However, Patel said that despite of all the tactics played against him, he is still confident of winning.

Prior to the elections, Congress tried best to keep its flock together by flying 44 MLAs to a Bengaluru resort.

Congress and the BJP with 57 and 58 seats respectively are now standing neck-to-neck in the Rajya Sabha. Meanwhile, for the third seat, it is still short of 14 votes which seems like an uphill task in the current political scenario in the state. "All the MLAs are with me despite the BJP trying to break the MLAs".

The 67-year-old politician is the political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and was credited with playing a major role in the party's victory in the 2004 and 2009 General Elections.

He also added that "I have just got word that two NCP MLAs will also be voting for me". NCP has 2 and JD U has 1 MLA in the house. So numbers will not be a problem.

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Prasad said the Congress had no objection in the morning and did not ask for keeping aside the two impugned votes or asked them to be declared as tendered.

The polls have assumed great significance because the Gujarat Assembly elections are due before the end of the year, and therefore, if Patel gets defeated in the high-voltage confrontation, the Congress would receive a major setback to its chances in the state, which has continuously been espousing the BJP for almost two decades. We had 57 MLAs and they had attempted to sabotage free elections by reducing our number to 25. Had it listened to the state unit earlier, we would have never come to this, ' Mahendrasinh told Mail Today.

Ahmed Patel need the support of at least 45 MLAs.

Legislators to Parliament's Upper House are elected by the method preferential voting which involves ranking candidates in order of preference. Even though Congress has 51, there are high chances of cross-voting. Since then he has occupied several key positions in Congress party's state and central wings.

The Congress approached the Election Commission and claimed that two rebel MLAs revealed their ballot papers to the BJP's polling agent.

The Congress wrote to the Election Commission (EC) and also moved Supreme Court (SC) protesting against the use of NOTA in the polls.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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