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Ahmed scrounges for every vote to save Rajya Sabha seat
Samay Live News
Last Updated : 08 Aug 2017 02:51:23 PM IST
Ahmed scrounges for every vote to save Rajya Sabha seat
(file photo)


Facing the toughest electoral battle of his career, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel scrounged for every vote as polling for three Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat progressed on Tuesday. BJP President Amit Shah and union minister Smriti Irani appeared set for an easy win.


Needing 45 first preference votes for a clean victory, Patel's day began with shockers from rebel leader Shankersinh Vaghela, who along with five of his supporters cross-voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party.


Not only this, the maverick Vaghela, who had quit on his birthday on July 21, claimed the confidence that Patel reposed in the 44 MLAs the party had flown off to Bengaluru to prevent "poaching" from the BJP was misplaced.



Patel has been banking upon the "unflinching support" of the 44 MLAs, two of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and one of Janata Dal-United.


However, one NCP MLA, Kandhal Jadeja, touched the feet of BJP chief Amit Shah when he arrived to vote and exercised his franchise for the BJP before he left for Vaghela's residence "for a luncheon meeting".


The other NCP MLA, Jayant Patel Bosky, is believed to have voted for Patel and so has Janata Dal-United's Chhotubhai Vasava.

But Ahmed Patel continued to put up a brave front. "I have full confidence that I will win."


Asked about cross-voting by Vaghela and his supporters, he shrugged: "So what (we never counted them)."


With 122 MLAs, on the other hand, Amit Shah and Smriti Irani will win, while the third BJP candidate Balwantsinh Rajput, a Congress turncoat, may lose if Ahmed Patel wins.


The Gujarat Assembly has 182 seats but is now left with 176 MLAs after six Congress legislators resigned.


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