New Delhi: Following a dramatic series of events that lasted till the wee hours of Wednesday, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel was reelected to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat along with BJP president Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani.
Patel polled 44 votes; the required number to cross the line after the Election Commission declared two votes cast by rebel Congress legislators invalid. Shah and Irani received 46 votes each. Congress turncoat Balwantsinh Rajput registered only 38 votes.
The Congress filed two applications for rejection of votes tendered by two MLAs, Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel, for violating the polling procedures. The party claimed the MLAs had shown their ballot papers to Amit Shah. The petition was first rejected by the Returning Officer.
The EC, taking into consideration the Congress’ plea, obtained the video footage of the voting. In an eight-page order it declared that the two MLAs had violated polling procedures and secrecy of the ballot.
In a huge sigh of relief for the Congress, the two votes were disqualified. Later at night, the returning officer announced the final numbers in the polls according to which Ahmed Patel secured 4400 votes, BJP’s Amit ShaAmit Shahh got 4600, Smriti Irani, too, got 4600, and Balwantsinh Rajput got 3800 votes.