Shankersinh Vaghela mum on choice in RS poll in Gujarat

Posted August 09, 2017

A win for Patel will not only help his political career but also allow Congress to put up a decent fight in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections. Ahead of the elections, Congress has ordered all of its legislators to vote for Ahmed Patel, warning that defiance will result in "career-altering penalty".

The Congress claimed that voting procedure has been violated under Rule 39 of The Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 by these two legislators hence their votes should be cancelled.

Later, Shaktisinh Gohil and Arjun Modhwadia of the Congress and state BJP president Jitu Vaghani viewed the videography of the polling.

While the strength of Congress MLAs in the Assembly at 51, seven MLAs, including Vaghela who has quit the Congress party, have not confirmed whether they will vote for Patel or not. One BJP rebel was also expected to vote for Patel. "So, I have not given my vote to Ahmed Patel", he said.

"Who is KC Tyagi to say anything?" Chotubhai Vasava, MLA of JD (U), has been saying that he will only support those who will give something to his constituency.

The Congress leader exuded "full confidence" about retaining his Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat for the fifth time, and observed, twice, that India is becoming a "banana republic".

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"The entire nation will face the impact and effect of this election". His decision to not resign was seen as a move to block Patel's entry into the upper house which has somewhat become a matter a prestige for the grand old party and even Patel.

Congress accused the incumbent Gujarat government of trying to lure 22 Congress lawmakers by offering Rs 15 crores to each MLA and asking them to cross vote during the polls.

Prasad said the Congress had no objection in the morning and did not ask for keeping aside the two impugned votes or asked them to be declared as tendered. Patel needs 45 votes to win the seat.

Before the six MLAs left Congress to join BJP, Congress veteran Shankersinh Vaghela also resigned from the party. NCP has two and JD (U) has one MLA in the house. I want to stay in politics but not in Congress.

This implies that of the 121 MLAs of the BJP, 45 will choose Amit Shah as their first preference, 45 will choose Smriti Irani, and the remaining 31 will choose Balwantsinh Rajput. Normally, political parties follow an unwritten understanding of allowing the Rajya Sabha elections to be unanimous, but with four persons in the fray for three seats, a fierce contest is on the cards.

Officially, the counting of votes will be held at 5 pm.