Ahmed Patel wins Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat

Angelica Greene
August 11, 2017

He also said it was one of his most hard elections.

Under the leadership of Shah, BJP has emphasised on booth management, which has reaped rich dividends for the ruling party.

Both 50-year-old Shah and Irani got 46 votes each to clinch a comfortable win, according to results announced Wednesday morning.

Since the 2014 victory in the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has a Prime Minister whose party has a majority on its own in the Lok Sabha for the first time in 30 years, besides the President and the Vice President of its choice.

Following weeks of internal turmoil in the Gujarat cadre with a slew of resignations by party MLAs, beginning with former chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela, Patel's contest for a comeback to the Upper House was down to the wire. That he managed to bring Patel and the entire Congress to its knees in an election the party could have won says a lot about his skills, strategy and resolve.

The victory of BJP President Amit Shah, who makes his debut in Parliament, and Smriti Irani's re-election from Gujarat give the party political heft in the Rajya Sabha but do not add to its numbers.

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In a belated response, the Bharatiya Janata Party raised a similar legal wrangle against two Congress MLAs, Shailesh Parmar, also the Chief Whip of the party, and Mitesh Garasia, but the Commission dismissed it. General Secretary in-charge of the state, Bhupinder Yadav, who played a key role in the party's surprising victory from Jharkhand, was also stationed in Gujarat for the last two days. Voting for the three Rajya Sabha seats was conducted on Tuesday. The game, of course, has just begun for the Congress in Gujarat.

The minimum required number came down to 44 after Election Commission disqualified the votes of two dissident MLAs who violated electoral rules by showing the voting slip to Amit Shah. While the BJP promptly pitted Rajput against Patel in the RS polls, other Congress MLAs began indicating openly that Patel would lose, forcing the Congress to pack off 44 of its MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru in an attempt to fend off more "poaching" by the BJP.

Then, a more high-profile delegation of the Congress, comprising Ghulam Nabi Azad, P. Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Randeep Singh Surjewala and R.P.N. Singh, met the Election Commission again.

The offer was too tempting for Amit Shah as he always held grudges against Patel and wanted his defeat at any cost for allegedly plotting false cases against him and also getting him arrested him by the CBI. BJP made his choice easy by exerting pressure to the extent of escorting him inside the hall where votes were to be cast.

The other eight MLAs voted for BJP candidate Balwantsinh Rajput. With this victory, we will have to set a target of winning more than 125 seats in the coming elections.

Other reports by GizPress

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