Cong approaches ECI, demands quashing of two MLAs' votes

Amit Shah and Ahmed Patel

Former Union Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela said on Monday that he was not in touch with Congress MLAs ahead of the crucial Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat on Tuesday.

The Congress was forced to shift its MLAs out from Gujarat following a spate of resignations in the backdrop of Rajya Sabha elections. "Congress MLAs Bholabhai Gohil and Raghavjibhai Patel voted for the BJP and publicly showed their votes to Amit Shahji". On the other hand, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram stated there is enough evidence that the ballot paper were seen by people other than those authorized.

"I thank all MLAs & leadership of the party".

Shankersinh Vaghela's son and sitting MLA Mahendrasinh dismissed Gehlot's charge against BJP as finger-pointing.

"Congress has been levelling baseless allegations, they did not protest about it in morning", said Prasad. However, he also added that this is an election, and "anything can happen".

"We never said that we will go alone".

The senior Congress leader also accused the BJP of forcing Congress to take the drastic step of whisking away its MLAs first to a resort in Bengaluru and then to another in Gujarat. These MLAs have now returned to Gujarat. So we have zeroed down on certain individuals and are trying to pursue them to vote in Patel's favour. "This country is becoming a banana republic", he said, twice, during the course of his chat with reporters at Anand.

Vaghela, however, remarked that this election had come to him as a "crisis".

Meanwhile, in the run up to the Rajya Sabha polls, Congress had also alleged that party MLAs were being offered huge sums of money to defect forcing the grand old party to fly out its legislators out of Gujarat.

There are three Rajya Sabha opening from Gujarat however there are four applicants in the shred - three from the BJP and one from the Congress. BJP President Amit Shah, one of the four candidates for the three empty seats will remain against Ahmed Patel from Congress. 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.

Voting will take place between 9 am and 4 pm at Saputara Hall of Swarnim Sankul II inside the New Secretariat complex in Gandhinagar.

Rebel BJP MLA Nalin Kotadia, who voted for Congress candidate Meira Kumar in the presidential polls, has changed his mind and made a decision to vote for the BJP.

If he wins, it could just be a scrape through.

Since BJP has 121 seats in the assembly, the election of Shah and Irani is a foregone conclusion. However, for the third seat, the BJP has put up a Congress rebel, Balwantsinh Rajput, who filed his nomination on the same day he joined the saffron brigade, so as to offer a stiff challenge to Patel.

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