Congress leader and political secretary to party chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel had manged to outwit Amit Shah-led BJP in an unprecedented Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat.
Congress leader and political secretary to party chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel had manged to outwit Amit Shah-led BJP in an unprecedented Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat. Though, BJP chief Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani had won comfortably, party candidate Balwantsinh Rajput lost the bitter fight. While Shah and Irani had bagged 46 votes each, Patel managed to secure 44 votes. This came after several twists and turns and late night drama. So it is 2-1 in favour of BJP. Here is how it unfolded.
1. Polling began at 9 am yesterday and leaders started arriving in Gujarat Assembly to cast their votes. 44 MLAs, who were lodged in a resort in Anand district, were brought to the assembly.
2. Congress heavyweight Shankersinh Vaghela had dropped the first bomb saying that had voted for BJP candidates. Soon two other rebel MLAs joined the chorus saying they had cross voted.
3. Later, A Congress MLA, who was part of the group of 44 legislators, had cross voted, according to reports.
4. Polling ended in the afternoon and counting was scheduled to begin at 5 pm.
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5. Congress had lodged complaint with the Election Commission demanding rejection of the votes cast by party MLAs Bholabhai Gohil and Raghavjibhai Patel. After a high-voltage drama at Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi, the EC rejected the votes cast by Bholabhai Gohil and Raghavjibhai Patel for allegedly showing their ballots to Amit Shah in violation of rules.
6. TV footages, however, showed that Patel displayed his ballot to an unidentified person present in the voting hall, according to PTI.
7. The EC’s decision to cancel the votes of two Congress MLAs brought down the requirement for an outright victory for a candidate to 44 from 45. Ahmed Patel secured 44, but would have won with even lesser number of votes given the fact that Rajput could clinch only 38.
8. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said BJP would legally challenge the EC’s decision rejecting the votes of two Congress MLAs who had backed the saffron party.
9. “This is not just my victory. It is a defeat of the most blatant use of money power, muscle power and abuse of state machinery,” Patel, tweeted after his victory. “I am happy and I thank my party leadership, my MLAs, party’s rank and file who worked like a family. It was a tough election which we won,” he said.
10. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Wednesday morning congratulating Shah and Irani on being elected to the Upper House.