BJP pulls out all stops to deny Sonia Gandhi man Ahmed Patel Rajya Sabha access, poaches 6 MLAs

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New Delhi | Updated: July 28, 2017 3:23:59 PM

BJP has named Balvantsinh Rajput, the former chief whip of Congress who recently resigned, to counter senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha elections on August 8.

Balvantsinh Rajput, Ahmed Patel, Rajya Sabha elections, congress mla, bjp, Sonia Gandhi political secretary, Balwantsinh Rajput, Tejashreeben Patel, Prahlad Patel, Ramsinh Parmar, Mansinh Chauhan, Channa Chaudhary, bjp news, congress news, congress mla resignBJP’s aim is to defeat Patel, the only Muslim candidate from Gujarat and a key strategist of Congress. (PTI)

BJP has named Balvantsinh Rajput, the former chief whip of Congress who recently resigned, to counter senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha elections on August 8. Patel is seen as a threat to BJP and that’s why the party chose the Siddhpur MLA as its third candidate, according to a Mint report. BJP’s aim is to defeat Patel, the only Muslim candidate from Gujarat and a key strategist of Congress. Patel, who is also Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary, is credited with wins in the 2004 and 2009 general elections. BJP’s other two candidates in the Rajya Sabha polls have established names, party president Amit Shah and textile minister Smriti Irani. To win the Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat a minimum of 47 MLAs are required, according to Mint. The BJP has 125 MLAs whereas Congress is left with only 51 after three quit on Thursday and three today.

Regarding Congress’s three members who resigned on Thursday, Assembly Speaker Ramanlal Vora had earlier told PTI, “Balwantsinh Rajput, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel have given their resignation as sitting MLAs of their respective seats. They now cease to be the members the Legislative Assembly.” Today Gujarat Congress MLAs Ramsinh Parmar, Mansinh Chauhan and Channa Chaudhary tendered their resignations. Balvantsinh Rajput who is the chairman and managing director of leading oil manufacturing company Gokul Refoils and Solvents Ltd, was one of the richest elected MLAs in 2012, the report said. Congress officials told Mint that Patel had supported Rajput in building his career.

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Balvantsinh Rajput who is the chairman and managing director of leading oil manufacturing company Gokul Refoils and Solvents Ltd, was one of the richest elected MLAs in 2012, the report said. Congress officials told Mint that Patel had supported Rajput in building his career.

President Ram Nath Kovind was the Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s pick and 11 Congress members, supporters of Shankersinh Vaghela, voted for him. This kind of cross-voting has been banned by the party now with six years of disqualification. According to Mint, the BJP is hoping to defect more Congress MLAs so as to neutralize Patel’s re-nomination in the Rajya Sabha.

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