Five reasons why Gujarat RS polls matter so much for Congress and Ahmed Patel | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Five reasons why Gujarat RS polls matter so much for Congress and Ahmed Patel

Defeat in the Rajya Sabha polls will mark one of the biggest losses for Ahmed Patel and the Congress.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2017 10:58 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Defeat in the Rajya Sabha polls from Gujarat would be a big setback for Ahmed Patel (left) and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Defeat in the Rajya Sabha polls from Gujarat would be a big setback for Ahmed Patel (left) and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. (PTI file photo)

The Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat on Tuesday have become a battle of prestige for Ahmed Patel, the political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Five reasons why the polls are so important for the Congress and Patel:

1. With Rahul Gandhi virtually taking over the reins of the Congress, Patel’s role has diminished and a defeat in the Rajya Sabha elections will further weaken his grip over the organisation.

2. Patel’s credibility and management skills are at stake. A win will also strengthen his position in Gujarat where he has often faced criticism for the party’s failure to regain power after losing it 22 years ago.

3. The contest has turned into a personal clash between Patel and BJP chief Amit Shah. In Gujarat’s political circles, the buzz for a long time has been that Patel shares a good rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But the contest seems to have negated that perception to some extent.

4. The BJP has repeatedly said that Patel’s loss will be the personal defeat of Congress president Sonia Gandhi since he is her political secretary. Knives will also be out in the Congress if he fails to retain the seat and give enough ammunition to his detractors within the party to attack him.

5. The contest has become a prestige issue between the Congress and the BJP. A loss barely few months ahead of the crucial assembly elections will take the sting out of the Congress and enable the BJP to further strengthen its hold over the state. A win will come as a morale booster for the faction-ridden Congress and enable it to regroup and unitedly fight the elections.