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Amit Shah resigns as MLA, BJP to challenge EC decision in Gujarat RS poll

Congress’ Ahmed Patel won the bitterly-contested Rajya Sabha election on Tuesday night.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2017 18:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Rajya Sabha Election,Gujarat,Gujarat Congress
Amit Shah, President of BJP, along with his party's lawmakers gestures after casting his vote for three crucial seats in the Rajya Sabha, outside a polling centre in Gandhinagar, India, August 8, 2017. (REUTERS)

Hours after winning his maiden in Rajya Sabha election, BJP Chief Amit Shah resigned as MLA at the end of two-day monsoon session of the assembly on Wednesday.

The BJP chief, who had micro-planned the RS poll strategy, giving Congress veteran Ahmed Patel a run for his money before a win, tendered his resignation to speaker Ramanlal Vora. His last day as MLA was also the last day of the assembly session of the state government’s term. Assembly elections will be held at the end of the year.

Shah, who represented Naranpura constituency in Ahmedabad city, refrained from attacking the Congress when its MLAs walked out from the house earlier. “It is not right to criticise the Opposition when it is not present here,” Shah said in his last address to the Gujarat assembly.

Meanwhile, claiming that Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Patel had won the Rajya Sabha election by only half a vote, chief minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will explore legal options to challenge the Election Commission’s (EC) decision of invalidating two votes in response to the Congress’ plea.

Patel won the bitterly-contested election in which Congress support had actually come down from 57 MLAs to just 44.

“The Congress earlier had 57 MLAs and, along with their allies,they had the support of 61 MLAs. But they were reduced to 44 MLAs. Our candidate lost by just half a vote,” Rupani said, adding, “Of 122, not a single BJP MLA cross-voted and it is our victory.”

“We don’t agree with the EC’s decision, we will take all possible legal action. Had the two disputed votes which were invalidated been counted, we would have won,” he added.

He also said that the Congress in Gujarat is “split vertically and has no future in the state”.

Along with Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani also emerged victorious in the election even as turncoat Balwantsinh Rajput lost the contest to Patel. This is Irani’s second term from Gujarat.

First Published: Aug 09, 2017 18:05 IST