After suffering a narrow defeat against Congress’ Ahmed Patel in the recently held Gujarat Rajya Sabha election, the Bharatiya Janata Party backed Balwantsinh Rajput on Friday afternoon moved the High Court, reported Aaj Tak and News 18. Meanwhile, Times Now reported that Rajput, who recently defected to BJP from Congress, challenged the Election Commission’s (EC) move to invalidate two votes in the Rajya Sabha election. Rajput had secured 38 votes after the Election Commission decided to invalidated two Congress votes — Raghavji Patel and Bhola Gohil.
The decision was taken by the EC after Congress claimed that the two MLAs, belonging to the Shankersinh Vaghela group, had shown their ballots to the party’s authorised agent as well as to the BJP’s agent. According to a report by NDTV, Rajput alleged that the Congress party had indulged in corrupt practices by flying 44 of its MLAs from Gujarat to Bengaluru in his petition to the Gujarat High Court. As per the report, he alleged that Congress had promised these MLAs monetary compensation. The petition will be heard by the court on Monday (21 August).
The Bharatiya Janata Party had won two out of three seats in Gujarat with Amit Shah and Smriti Irani emerging victorious. However, Ahmed Patel’s victory who is also a senior adviser to Congress president Sonia Gandhi was not less than a blow for the ruling party.
Before resigning from the Congress, Balwantsinh Rajput was the party whip. He was among the 14 rebel Congress MLAs who had quit the party before the Rajya Sabha polls. He got 38 votes in the election, while Ahmed Patel of Congress won with 44 votes. After six of the 14 Congress rebels resigned as legislators, the effective strength of votes in the 182-seat Gujarat Assembly was reduced to 176.