Gujarat on Monday witnessed a high political drama a day before the Rajya Sabha polls with both the Congress and the BJP pulling out all stops for the prestigious battle involving Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The Congress was the first to move the Election Commission demanding cancellation of votes of its two disgruntled MLAs for allegedly showing their votes to persons other than the authorised party representatives.
Prior to the elections, Congress tried best to keep its flock together by flying 44 MLAs to a Bengaluru resort.
The Gujarat Assembly has 182 seats but is now left with 176 MLAs after six Congress legislators resigned.
While, Congress has 51 MLAs along with 7 of Shankarinh Vaghela's camp.
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Prasad further said that the Congress is losing its cool as it has realised that it is about to taste one of the most embarrassing defeats. It is not the victory of the third BJP candidate, Balwantsinh Rajput, which is of any effect but the fact that his win would spell the defeat of Patel, who holds great political significance. While Upper House polls barely attract any attention, this one has grabbed eyeballs across the nation - right from horse trading allegations, MLAs trip to Bangalore and now to cross-voting.
Congress' Gujarat in-charge Ashok Gehlot today expressed confidence that senior party leader Ahmed Patel will win comfortably in the Rajya Sabha polls as he has the required numbers. That is the reason there is zero chance of the Congress Party winning this seat.
Ahmed Patel hopes to get the support of lone JD (U) MLA Chhotu Vasava in the Assembly but it remains to be seen what stand he takes especially after his party joined hands with the BJP in Bihar. "So, I have not given my vote to Ahmed Patel", he said. They are very committed; they did not go home even for "Raksha Bandhan".
According to reports, they were taken to the Neejanand Resort in Gujarat's Anand district, located 77 km from Ahmedabad, ahead of the election for three seats. Meanwhile, for the third seat, it is still short of 14 votes which seems like an uphill task in the current political scenario in the state. NCP has 2 and JD U has 1 MLA in the house. From the Congress point of view, fear of cross-voting looms large. This would mean a contestant has to muster 45 votes.
Vaghela told news agency ANI that he had warned the top leadership that MLAs were not happy and might join the BJP.