Gujarat: After much drama over the last few weeks, today the MLAs are voting to fill seats of 3 Rajya Sabha members. The focus of the polls will be Gujarat where BJP looks all set to send party president Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani to the Upper House. However, there will be a contest for the third seat between Congress’ Ahmed Patel and BJP’s Balvantsinh Rajput, who recently left the Grand Old Party for the saffron camp.
Prior to the elections, Congress tried best to keep its flock together by flying 44 MLAs to a Bengaluru resort. However, Patel’s chances are still grim. A big setback for the Congress came on Monday when NCP, which had two MLAs, declared its support for Rajput, according to PTI. However, Patel told the news agency that NCP will vote for him.
On the other side, rebel Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela on Tuesday asserted that he had not voted for the official party nominee Ahmed Patel in the crucial Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls being held here. Five of his supporters too, stated they voted for the BJP candidate.
“I have not voted for the Congress, because Ahmed Patel is not going to win and there is no point in wasting a vote. We have pleaded so many times to listen to the grievances of the MLAs but it is unfortunate that they did not listen… Vaghela told reporters after polling.
Patel needs 45 first preference votes to win his seat in the present House of 176 legislators. He falls short of one vote and believes that two Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs and one of the Janata Dal-United will vote for him.