In the battle of prestige between BJP and Congress in controversy ridden Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls, Congress candidate Ahmed Patel emerged as the winner on Tuesday.
The high-octane drama related to Congress' demand to reject the votes of 2 MLAs who cross-voted for BJP and showed it to Amit Shah has come to an end with Election Commission deciding to quash the votes on Tueday night. The decision has been taken on the basis of similar judgements in the past. Congress had filed a complaint with EC.
BJP demanded immediate counting of votes and announcement of results. BJP said that Congress is reacting out of fear of defeat.
The voting for the crucial Rajya Sabha polls completed on Tuesday with all 176 MLAs casting their votes. BJP’s Amit Shah and Smriti Irani are all set to be elected to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in polling.
The Rajya Sabha polls were crucial as during the run up to the elections, many Congress MLAs resigned from party and joined BJP. The repeated resignations came after the party veteran Shankarsinh Vaghela’s exit from the party.
Following that, the RS polls had become a high-stakes battle for Congress party’s Ahmed Patel. BJP’s Balwantsinh Rajput is also in the fray.
Patel suffered a blow when former Congress stalwart Shankersinh Vaghela, after casting his vote, told reporters he was against him.
“As Ahmed Patel is going to lose, I have not given my vote to him,” Vaghela said.
The Gujarat Assembly will elect three MPs to the Rajya Sabha, with each candidate requiring 45 votes to win.
Live updates from the RS polls:
BJP's Amit Shah & Smriti Irani have won Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat
Congress leader Ahmed Patel wins
Gujarat Rajya Sabha Polls: I will not make any comment now and wait for the results. I appreciate the order of the EC, says
Congress claims that BJP has stopped the counting of votes
I have not voted for BJP because BJP has not solved patidars’ problems: Nalinbhai Kotadia, GPP MLA, Gujarat
Congress workers in Gandhinagar celebrate EC's verdict declaring votes of two Congress MLAs as invalid
# 12:08 AM
If required we will take legal action: Gujarat Dy CM Nitinbhai Patel on EC verdict declaring vote of 2 Cong MLAs as invalid
# 12:06 AM
Our polling agent raised the issue immediately but we thought it is for EC to decide further on it. I demand EC to make CD public: Guj Dy CM
# 12:06 AM
2 votes held invalid means winning mark is now 44 votes and not 45 anymore as quotient is 4350 and quota 4351
# 12:00 AM
I believe they already had plans since yesterday to make this fabricated story & conspiracy: Gujarat Dy CM
# 12:00 AM
Shaktisinh Gohil has seen the CD himself also and knows that he stood up in anger: Gujarat Dy CM Nitinbhai Patel
# 11:58 PM
Shaktisinh Gohil Ji was angry when MLA showed him his vote, he is visibly angry; tried to snatch the ballot paper: Nitinbhai Patel
# 11:55 PM
The decision is sad. If the CD of voting is made public, not just us the whole nation will say the decision is wrong: Gujarat Dy CM
# 11:51 PM
Truth has emerged victorious in spite of BJP using all the power. Ahmed Patel will win: RS Surjewala
# 11:37 PM
EC asks Returning Officer to start counting of votes after segregating the votes in question
# 11:35 PM
# 11:34 PM
EC declares votes of Congress MLAs Bhola Bhai Gohil & Raghav Bhai Patel as invalid
# 11:34 PM
Election Commission quashes 2 Congress MLAs votes on the basis on previous judgements, counting to begin shortly
# 11:16 PM
Anyhow how will one identify two votes that they want to be disqualified? It is not possible practically: Subhash Kashyap
# 11:15 PM
Not legal issue; political drama. If there was objection, should've been raised during polling: Subhash Kashyap, constitution expert
# 10:55 PM
Gujarat: Amit Shah, CM Vijay Rupani, Bhupender Yadav and other party members sitting outside counting center in Gandhinagar
Election Commission will convey order on counting of votes to Returning Officer at 11.30 pm
Newsnation Sources say EC set to give go-ahead for counting. Order being typed. Two ECs in last-minute huddle.
Why is BJP bringing army of Defense/Finance Min, Power Min, Petroleum Min & Commerce Min? It means they want to suppress truth: Surjewala
# 10:13 PM
With all respect want to tell BJP that this is the war of truth, lies cannot prevail on Gandhi Ji's land: RS Surjewala
EC officials did not meet Congress & BJP delegations for the third time; officials are in closed door meeting right now
# 9:47 PM
# 9:45 PM
It is a complete sham that Congress is indulging in, the allegations are completely baseless: Union Min Piyush Goyal at EC
# 9:42 PM
We want electoral process to be completed and counting to begin: Nirmala Sitharaman at EC
# 9:36 PM
We are confident about EC's judgement, they'll be giving opinion on counting soon: Union Min Dharmendra Pradhan
# 9:33 PM
Congress cannot put undue pressure on EC. If Congress party goes to EC the third time, so will we: RS Prasad
# 9:26 PM
Delhi: BJP delegation also reaches Election Commission for the third time
# 9:07 PM
Congress leaders including RPN Singh and Randeep Surjewala going to the Election Commission for the third time
# 8:57 PM
Have appealed EC to start the counting process immediately because free and fair elections took place: MA Naqvi, BJP
# 8:45 PM
Have full faith in EC,Congress's allegations have no substance and they are giving wrong precedents: RS Prasad after meeting EC again
# 8:34 PM
EC has assured that propoer rules will be followed without due influence from BJP: Congress
EC must reject these ballot papers as it did in Haryana in June 2016- P Chidambaram, Cong
There is enough evidence that the ballot paper were seen by ppl other than those authorized- P Chidambaram, Cong
# 8:17 PM
# 8:10 PM
Delhi: BJP delegation including Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and RS Prasad arrive at Election Commission again
# 7:51 PM
One of our MLAs had mistakenly showed his vote in Haryana and his vote was rejected, same was done in Gujarat so should be rejected: Anand Sharma
# 7:43 PM
Since morning Congress has been claiming win, now with defeat staring in their face they are making desperate attempts: RS Prasad
# 7:39 PM
Requested EC to reject Congress's plea as once votes are cast then nothing can be done,process was fair: RS Prasad
# 7:38 PM
I'm very much confident let counting take place: Ahmed Patel
# 7:37 PM
Complaint was filed immediately but returning officer didn't do anything: Ahmed Patel, Congress
# 7:37 PM
Congress has been leveling baseless allegations, they did not protest about it in morning: RS Prasad, Union Minister after meeting EC
# 7:31 PM
Congress leaders including Anand Sharma and Randeep Surjewala will go to the Election Commission again shortly
# 7:30 PM
You waited for 6 hours while the elections were on and now you are complaining, says Bhupender Yadav on Congress complaint to EC
# 7:12 PM
We had raised objection at 9.30 am, but EC has not responded till now, shows that they are being put under pressure: Arjun Modhwadia, Cong
# 7:11 PM
We requested that Congress, BJP and Presiding officer should jointly watch video, but BJP objected, waiting for EC decision: Arjun Modhwadia, Cong
# 7:10 PM
Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar, Nirmala Sitharaman also reach Election Commission
# 7:01 PM
Election Commission meet taking place right now over Congress complaint, EC's decision will come today
# 7:00 PM
BJP delegation including union ministers MA Naqvi, Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan going to Election Commission
# 6:29 PM
Congress complaint to EC demanding quashing of votes of 2 Cong MLAs who voted BJP and allegedly showed votes publicly
Congress complaint to EC demanding quashing of votes of 2 Cong MLAs who voted BJP and allegedly showed votes publicly pic.twitter.com/xf7glnABQ8— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2017
# 6:28 PM
The meeting between Congress delegation and Election Commission over; RPN Singh says Election Commission should save democracy
# 6:21 PM
BJP ruled Gujarat for 22 years but ignored tribal areas which remain undeveloped as government did nothing for poor and tribals: Chhotu Vasava
# 6:20 PM
Lone JD(U) MLA in Gujarat, Chhotu Vasava, says he voted for Congress' nominee Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha Polls
# 6:19 PM
Who is KC Tyagi to say anything? Chotubhai has voted, he will tell. Our support is with Ahmed Patel: Ambalal Jadhav, Gujarat Gen Secy JDU
Congress files complaint against 2 MLAs
Counting for Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat delayed due to Cong cross-voting complaints. Report gone to ECI. Permission awaited.
# 5:45 PM
Congress's Randeep Surjewala and RPN Singh approach EC to demand quashing of votes of 2 Cong MLAs, say they voted BJP and publicly showed votes
# 5:32 PM
Nitish ji had asked our Gujarat MLA Chhotubhai Vasava to vote for BJP and he voted BJP: KC Tyagi, JDU
Two Congress MLAs Bholabhai and Raghavji Bhai voted for BJP and publicly showed their votes: Shaktisinh Gohil
# 5:18 PM
# 4:59 PM
We will ask for official copy, if the video has been tampered then it is a serious a criminal act, we will go to SC for that: Shaktisinh Gohil
# 4:57 PM
Two Congress MLAs who voted for BJP showed their votes to Amit Shahji, it has been video-graphed: Shaktisinh Gohil
# 4:55 PM
If a voter shows his vote to anyone other than party's authorized agent, then the vote gets rejected: Shaktisinh Gohil, Congress
# 2:05 PM
Numbers are in our favour, result should be good, I am confident and optimistic: Ahmed Patel
# 2:02 PM
Voting ends at Assembly
Since BJP has 121 seats in the assembly, the election of Shah and Irani is a foregone conclusion. The third seat has become a virtual head to head fight against BJP’s Balwantsinh Rajput.
Patel is short of the required 45 votes to sail through his fifth RS election. The Congress has a clear support of 44 MLAs but some MLAs of Vaghela’s RPT Vaghela’s group like Raghavji Patel and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja have also come out and said that they have voted for the BJP.
After accounting for 90 votes to get Shah and Irani elected, the BJP will be left with 31 surplus votes for Rajput, who will require the backing of rebel MLAs of the Congress and smaller parties to win.
Until recently, Rajput was Congress’ chief whip in the House before defecting to BJP.
It is after a gap of about two decades that a contest is taking place in Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat, where official nominees of major parties used to get elected unopposed.
According to Election Commission officials, a candidate would require one-fourth of the total number of votes plus one to get elected. This would mean a contestant has to muster 45 votes.
The MLAs have to give their preferential votes indicating first choice, second, third, fourth (as per number of candidates) or they can choose NOTA, they said.
With PTI inputs