Who helped Ahmed Patel win Gujarat Rajya Sabha poll? Here are three guesses
Ahmed Patel of the Congress snatched a dramatic late-night victory in the Rajya Sabha polls following an Election Commission order in his favour.india Updated: Aug 09, 2017 16:42 IST
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel may have snatched a dramatic late-night victory in the Rajya Sabha polls from Gujarat but the dust is yet to settle in the unusually tense election that became a battle of prestige.
Besieged by a spate of resignations and infighting, the Congress managed the 44 votes needed to elect party chief Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary to the Upper House. His prospects were boosted after the Election Commission disqualified two rebel Congress votes late in the evening.
The election was preceded by weeks of drama where the Congress corralled 44 of its 57 MLAs in a Bengaluru resort, but in the end, could only manage 43 of these votes.
The question on everyone’s mind is: Whose vote put Patel, once among the most powerful men in India, over the top? As speculation swirls, here are the three possible answers:
1.Jayant Patel: The Nationalist Congress Party MLA and party state president is said to have backed Ahmed Patel and told reporters that “Whip is clear. We are the partner of the UPA.” The other NCP legislator from the state, Kandhal Jadeja, openly said that he wouldn’t vote for the Congress candidate.
2.Chhotu Vasava: The Janata Dal (United) MLA was earlier supposed to vote for the Congress candidate but appeared to dither as the election drew closer. “I have voted for the country and as per the party’s ideology,’” he told reporters after the polls. JD (U) national spokesperson K C Tyagi said that the party’s lone legislator in Gujarat had voted for the party’s latest ally BJP. But hours later, Ahmed Patel visited Vasava’s residence in Gandhinagar, sparking speculation that his vote has gone to the Congress.
3.Nalin Kotadiya: The rebel MLA was part of former chief minister Keshubhai Patel’s Gujarat Parivartan Party, which has now merged with the BJP. In a Facebook post, he announced that he backed Ahmed Patel. “Seeing the pain of 14 youths who died during Patidar agitation I voted against BJP,” he wrote.