Saturday, 19 August, 2017

BJP demands immediate counting of votes in Gujarat RS polls

Amit Shah Amit Shah quits Assembly sees Guj polls in December
Saul Franklin | 09 August, 2017, 00:23

However, Ahmed Patel has got one vote each from both NCP and JD (U). A jittery Congress shipped 44 of their MLAs from Gujarat to a resort in Bangalore to prevent any further defections. The other six MLAs who did not join the 44 lawmakers in Bengaluru were his camp followers and were learnt to have voted for BJP.

The two Congress leaders Raghavji Patel and Dharmendra Jadeja voted for BJP's Balwantsinh Rajput. "He (Nitish) should have convened a meeting", the lone JD (U) MLA in Gujarat told NDTV.

Each contestant needs 45 votes to win The Assembly's strength is 176, out of which BJP has 122, which makes the victory of Shah and Irani a foregone conclusion. Six lawmakers quit the party within days last month - a plan allegedly scripted by its former leader Shankersinh Vaghela, who, the party says, is out to draw blood after he was not projected as its Chief Ministerial candidate.

"Apart from them, seven other Congress MLAs, who have not opened their cards yet, may vote for me".

Today, hours after the votes had been cast, Congress took the issue of alleged impropriety by its MLAs to the EC, setting off dramatic developments as delegation after delegation of the two parties made a beeline for the Nirvachan Sadan.

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Ahmed Patel, considered among the most powerful leaders in the Congress party and a member of the "old guard", is now fighting to cling on to his Rajya Sabha seat in Gujarat in what may be the toughest battle he has fought in his long political career. "He had first completed the remaining term of Rajnath Singh and afterwards he was elected into his first term as the president of the party previous year. As for Vaghela, he has himself promised that he will vote for me and I believe he will keep his word", he said. Before Vaghela rebelled, Congress had 57 members in the house of 182.

The Rajya Sabha election has become a high-stake battle for the ruling BJP and opposition Congress in Gujarat, where the Assembly polls are due later this year.

Congress has demanded the cancellation of votes of two of its MLAs complaining that they showed their ballots to the BJP leaders Amit Shah and Smriti Irani and another candidate against election rules. From the Congress point of view, fear of cross-voting looms large.

"I was told, let them go if they want to". The vote is the personal property of an MLA (for the Rajya Sabha election). 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.

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