New Delhi, 9th Aug 2017 | Visesh: Congress candidate Ahmed Patel beat the BJP nominee in a bitterly fought Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat after late night dramatic developments saw the Election Commission reject the votes of two MLAs of the main opposition party for violating electoral rules.
Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi beat Balwant singh Rajput, till recently the party’s chief whip in the state Assembly before defecting to BJP, polling 44 votes, in the first RS polls in Gujarat in two decades which saw a contest instead of official candidates of major parties getting elected unopposed. Rajput secured 38 votes.
“This is not just my victory. It is a defeat of the most blatant use of money power, muscle power and abuse of state machinery,” Patel, who secured a fifth Rajya Sabha term after the tough fight, tweeted so after his victory.
However, BJP chief Amit Shah made his maiden entry into the house of elders and so did party nominee and Information Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, clinching 46 votes each, an EC official said.
“I am happy and I thank my party leadership, my MLAs, party’s rank and file who worked like a family. It was a tough election which we won,” he said.
The EC’s decision to cancel the votes of two Congress MLAs brought down the requirement for an outright victory for a candidate to 44 from 45.Ahmed Patel secured 44 but would have won with the even lesser number of votes.