Gandhinagar, August 9: The nail biting contest with full of twist and turns finally gets over after BJP National President Amit Shah, Union Minister Smriti Irani and Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel winning the Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat.
Drama finally got over in the night as the Election Commission declared final results for the three Rajya Sabha seat in which Amit Shah received 46 votes, Smriti Irani also secured 46 votes while Ahmed Patel got 44 votes.
However, earlier, counting of votes for 3 Rajya Sabha seats had been delayed for hours following objections raised by Congress party against its two dissidents MLAs. The Congress had approached the Election Commission (EC) seeking to invalidate the votes of its two legislators who voted for the BJP. Leaders of the ruling BJP also went to the Election Commission and opposed the Congress claim.
But EC after reviewing the matter agreed with the Congress complaint and directed the returning officer to start counting of votes after segregating the ballot papers of two MLAs Raghavji Bhai Patel and Bholabhai Gohil. Election Commission termed that the vote of this two MLAs termed invalid for violation of law for showing their ballot papers to the unauthorized persons.
Amidst full of political drama led by Congress, a BJP delegation led by Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad met the chief poll body, requesting for the early announcement of counting. BJP claimed, “the concept of secrecy in elections to RS is no more valid because the Parliament itself has made elections to the Rajya Sabha through the open ballot.” BJP also accused Congress MLAs of neglecting their duty in the flood-hit state.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has said that his party, BJP, is not happy with the decision of election commission and will take legal action. Briefing the media persons at Gandhinagar after the announcement of results, CM Rupani said that there is no evidence in support of Congress complaint about a violation of rules. He said, that the Congress candidate Ahmed Patel has won by a thin margin of only half votes despite Congress had 57 MLAs in the house.
CM Rupani said that two votes rejected by Election Commission were also in favour of BJP and its third candidate Balwantsinh Rajput could have won by the margin of one and a half votes. Criticizing the Congress leadership, he said, that Congress is a sinking ship in Gujarat. Rupani claimed that though Congress had won the one seat of Rajya Sabha on the basis of a false complaint, its defeat in coming assembly elections is certain.
Hours earlier when RS elections were underway, former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela revealed that he did not vote for Ahmed Patel. His reason was “Who votes for a losing side, the Congress?” He claimed, Patel will lose the elections and "not even win 40 votes."
Then the reports of cross voting came into limelight as two Congress legislators Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghavji Bhai Patel voted for BJP. Meanwhile, few Janata Dal (United) [JD(U)] MLAs voted for BJP, as opposed to Congress, and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) voted for Congress.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated BJP President Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani on getting elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. PM Modi also congratulated Amit Shah on completing three years as BJP President. In a tweet, PM Modi said, “during the Presidency of Mr Shah BJP has expanded its base in several areas and diligently worked towards nation building.”