Former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela on Tuesday asserted that he did not vote for the saffron party Rajya Sabha candidate Ahmed Patel, adding that there was no point for the grand old party as they are never going to win the elections. “The entire nation will face the impact and effect of this election. I tried to explain a lot to the Congress party before the elections, they didn’t listen, following which I left the party. Now when the Congress Party is not going to win the elections, there was no point giving my votes to it,” Vaghela told the reporters after casting his vote.
Expressing sorrow for not voting for Patel, Vaghela further said the Congress party shouldn’t have put the reputation of the former on stake, when the party knew that their MLAs were resigning. “It is not even sure that all the 44 MLAs of the Congress will vote for the same person, they may also do cross voting. That’s why there is no chance of the Congress Party winning this seat. So, I have not given my vote to Ahmed Patel,” he said. However, Vaghela did not confirm whether he voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate or opted for NOTA (none of the above). Meanwhile, two Congress MLA Dharmendra Jadeja and Raghavji Patel have voted for the BJP.
“There are only two parties in Gujarat – Congress and BJP. If I’m not with Congress, you know where will I be,” Congress MLA Raghavji Patel said after casting his vote for BJP. Congress MLA Dharmendra Jadeja asserted that the Congress party hasn’t been listening to their leaders for a year and hence he voted for BJP. The voting for the crucial Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections for three seats began at 9 a.m.
The voting will continue till 4 p.m. while the counting will be held from 5 p.m. Gujarat Assembly Secretary D. M. Patel, who is also the returning officer for the Rajya Sabha election said that after the resignation of six Congress MLAs, there are total 176 MLAs eligible to vote. The election has been necessitated following the completion of the tenures of three existing members Union Minister Smriti Irani and Dilip Pandya of BJP and Ahmed Patel of Congress. Meanwhile, the win of two of the three BJP candidates party president Amit Shah and Smriti Irani was almost certain, while the fate of the third party candidate Balwantsinh Rajput who joined BJP after resigning from Congress was hanging in balance along with the sole Congress candidate Ahmed Patel.
Congress needs the support of 45 MLAs for victory of Patel who is contesting for his fifth term for the upper house. In 182 member assembly, BJP has 122 seats including dissident Nalin Kotadiya. While, Congress has 51 MLAs along with seven of Shankarinh Vaghela’s camp. NCP has two and JD(U) has one MLA in the house.