Rajya Sabha Polls: Congress' Ahmed Patel retains seat from Gujarat

Veteran leader's win is being considered a major victory for the Congress party; BJP national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani also win

Ahmed Patel
Ahmed Patel

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel has retained his Rajya Sabha seat. Voting for the three Rajya Sabha seats was conducted on Tuesday. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani are other two candidates who also won.

The BJP's national president Amit Shah
The BJP's national president Amit Shah

Ahmed Patel's win is being considered a major victory for Congress and a blow to the BJP. Patel took to Twitter to express happiness.

The Congress had made candidature of Patel a matter of prestige. The BJP also left no stone unturned to win all the three seats. It pitted Balwantsinh Rajput'a recent acquisition from the Congress'against Patel knowing that Patel's defeat will embarrass Sonia Gandhi since he is her political secretary. Patel beat Balwantsinh Rajput'till recently the party's chief whip in the state Assembly before defecting to BJP'polling 44 votes'in the first RS polls in Gujarat in two decades.

Smriti Irani also won. Pics/PTI
Smriti Irani also won. Pics/PTI

'Toughest election'
"This was the toughest election that I have fought in my life. I thank my party leaders and my MLAs'" Patel told a gathering of Congress MLAs later. "The morale of our party workers has skyrocketed after this win. With this victory'we will have to set a target of winning more than 125 seats in the coming elections. Our next target is to win the 2017 elections'" Patel said.


Youth Congress activists burst fire-crackers to celebrate Ahmed Patel's (left) win in the Rajya Sabha election, in New Delhi
Youth Congress activists burst fire-crackers to celebrate Ahmed Patel's (left) win in the Rajya Sabha election, in New Delhi

The Election Commission (EC) declared the results. Total 176 MLAs voted but two votes were declared invalid.

MLAs expelled
Eight Gujarat Congress MLAs including Shankarsinh Vaghela were expelled for six years for defying the whip during the Rajya Sabha polls: party spokesman Manish Doshi said yesterday. Agencies

Tweet talk

Ahmed Patel
This is not just my victory. It is a defeat of the most blatant use of money power' muscle power and abuse of state machinery

BJP MLA admits he voted against party
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Nalin Kotadiya said that he has voted against BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls. He himself admitted in a Facebook post'and said'"Seeing the pain of 14 youths who died during Patidar agitation I voted against BJP."

BJP to move court against EC's decision
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday expressed disapproval over the Election Commission's decision of disqualifying two rebel Congress MLAs over cross-voting and said that in the coming days'the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will move court for justice.

44
No of votes by which Ahmed Patel retained his seat

05
This is Patel’s fifth term to the Rajya Sabha

38
No of votes secured by Balwantsinh Rajput whom he beat

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