Gujarat RS polls: Two Congress MLAs admit voting for BJP

Marie Harrington
August 9, 2017

Patel is, however, assured to get one vote from the lone JD (U) MLA who in defiance of his party whip has claimed to have voted for the Congress leader.

In any case, Vaghela did not affirm whether he voted in favor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) applicant or selected NOTA (nothing unless there are other options). "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. The desperation was so great for the Congress that it had to move 43 of its Gujarat MLAs to a luxury resort in Bengaluru. They were taken to Karnataka after six party MLAs resigned from the party in July with some of them joining the BJP. "We have full right to expand our party size but in future we also want our party to stand in Gujarat and fight elections", Patel asserted.

In its efforts to secure a fifth term for Patel, Congress is also hoping to win some of its legislators who are now in Vaghela camp.

"There is no question of any offer (from the BJP)".

Patel also hit out at the saffron party for forcing Congress MLAs to shift their base to Bengaluru.

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In the Gujarat assembly, Congress has a total of 51 legislators including Vaghela who is still a legislator despite quitting the Congress.

While BJP chief Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani are fighting unopposed, the party has fielded Congress detractor Balwantsinh Rajput against Sonia Gandhi loyalist Ahmed Patel. Notwithstanding this defence, these votes were voices of dissent.

Amid a high drama of political slug fest senior Ahmed Patel on Monday said he is sure of his victory as all the party MLAs are united.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday stated that the brouhaha, which the Congress Party is creating around the Rajya Polls in Gujarat, is "unwarranted" and bogus. Patel, due to his proximity to the Congress president, had been instrumental in deciding the course which the party took during the better part of Sonia Gandhi's tenure. "They will stay together and they will go to vote for the Rajya Sabha polls tomorrow (to Gandhinagar) from Anand", Parmar said. "I have no personal interests to negotiate with the BJP", he said, while replying to a query. The Congress had 57 MLAs in the Assembly two weeks ago. Before voting began, Congress had a clear support of 44 MLAs. They are very committed; they did not go home even for "Raksha Bandhan".

The BJP has 122 seats including that of dissident Nalin Kotadiya. NCP has two and JD (U) has one MLA in the house. None will be eligible to vote in the Rajya Sabha election on August 8. With four candidates filing their nominations for the three RS seats from the State, there will be a contest for the RS polls in the State for the first time in over two decades.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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