Published: Tue, August 08, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

We are moving towards Congress-free Gujarat: BJP

We are moving towards Congress-free Gujarat: BJP

Despite quitting the Congress, Vaghela had earlier said his vote was reserved for Congress nominee Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha election.

Until recently, Rajput was Congress' chief whip in the House before defecting to BJP.

The senior Congress leader claimed that although NCP had yesterday said that it had not decided about giving support to any party, "latest reports suggest that NCP has taken a decision to support me". Moreover, we have support of two Nationalist Congress Party legislators, one MLA each of JD (U) and Gujarat Parivartan Party.

Therefore Patel's victory is paramount for determining the future of the Congress. Some MLAs of his group like Raghavji Patel and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja also came out and said that they have voted for the BJP. Vaghela has resigned from the Congress but not as an MLA, hence his vote would be crucial.

According to a Congress source, the MLAs held a meeting at the resort located in Ramanagara's Bidadi area and chose to leave the city early on Monday morning. "Horse trading is not possible with those who are with us", party's lawmaker Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters outside the airport before leaving for Ahmedabad.

While Patel is seeking a fifth term with his back to the wall, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidates are all set for an easy run.

SC notice to Centre on plea challenging special status to J&K
He said that questioning the state's special status will put a question mark on its accession to India. He said it was important that people understand why they are opposed to abrogation of Article 35-A.

JD (U) leader Chotubhai Vasava also did not reveal whom he voted for. The main tension builds between Balwant Singh and Ahmed Patel.

The polls have assumed great significance because the Gujarat Assembly elections are due before the end of the year, and therefore, if Patel gets defeated in the high-voltage confrontation, the Congress would receive a major setback to its chances in the state, which has continuously been espousing the BJP for almost two decades. Patel, on his part, expressed confidence of winning the election despite accusing the BJP of hatching a conspiracy against him.

Meanwhile, sources informed Catch that Congress leadership too is in touch with BJP MLAs and the likelihood of some of them voting in favour of Patel is not being ruled out.

Former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela on Monday shunned the option of NOTA in the Rajya Sabha polls scheduled for tomorrow referring it as "nonsense". At least 45 preference votes are needed for a candidate to get elected to the Upper House.

"We need 45 votes and we have that".

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