Both MLAs respectively from Jasdan and Jamnagar rural cross-voted and polled in favour of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however their votes were later invalidated by the Election Commission.
The much awaited Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections concluded amidst high decibel political uproar soon after two Congress MLAs Bhola Gohel and Raghavji Patel revealed their votes to the media. Both MLAs respectively from Jasdan and Jamnagar rural cross-voted and polled in favour of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however their votes were later invalidated by the Election Commission following Congress’ approached seeking cancellation of the votes of Gohil and Patel for having shown the ballots to people other than the party’s authorised representatives. Both Patel and Gohel were among the seven rebel MLAs including Shankersinh Vaghela, who voted against the Congress. Meet the two Congress rebel MLAs who’s votes were disqualified by the Election Commission yesterday.
Started his career as a taluka unit chief in Dhrol in 1978, Patel is a Leuva Patidar and Gohil’s first election was from the Jasdan taluka panchayat in 2000. According to Indian Express report, Gohel belongs to the Koli community of Bandhali village in Jasdan and pursued his graduation in rural studies. Since the exit of Shankersinh Vaghela from Congress, Gohel has been the communicado.
The report also states that Gohel, in the past, had said that he would not contest the upcoming Assembly elections and would be happy to see Koli strongman and ex- Congress MP Kunwarji Bavaliya making a comeback. Gohel along with 10 MLAs were huddled at a resort located on the outskirts of Bengaluru. The reason behind huddling these MLAs were the reports of more MLAs quitting Congress and joining BJP after Vaghela’s exit from the party. However, Gohel sneaked out of the resort after reportedly receiving a call from fellow Congress MLA from Jamnagar.
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A five-time MLA, Patel has contested 2 elections on BJP’s ticket. He joined the BJP in 1989 and left the party along with Vaghela in 1995 citing that the party did not make him the minister. He was elected as Congress MLA in 2007 from Dhrol and in 2012 from Jamnagar rural. Patel believed that Patidars are the game-changers in Gujarat polls and was not happy that the Congress could not cash in on their discontentment.
Bhola Gohel (42)
Criminal case: None
Total Assets: Rs 26.85 lakh Movable Assets: Rs 21.85 lakh ,
Immovable Assets: Rs 5 lakh
Education: Bachelor of Rural Studies from J C Kumarappa Gram Vidyapith
Raghavji Patel (58)
Criminal cases: 2 (Prevention of Damages of Public Property Act; Pending in courts)
Total Assets: Rs 4.66 crore
Movable Assets: Rs 2.93 crore
Immovable Assets: Rs 1.72 crore *
Education: Arts graduate, LL.B
Occupation: Farming & Politics