Gujarat RS Election: Defeat a lesson for the BJP

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The party rushed two teams of senior leaders to the Election Commission in the Capital to invalidate votes cast by Bholabhai Gohil and Raghavjibhai Patel.

The minimum required number came down to 44 after Election Commission disqualified the votes of two dissident MLAs who violated electoral rules by showing the voting slip to Amit Shah.

Though the initiative to seek disqualification of the two rebel Congress legislators was taken by Randeep Surjewala and R P N Singh - leaders considered close to Rahul Gandhi - it was the forceful and clear arguments by P Chidambaram at the Election Commission that ensured a favourable outcome.

Patel also thanked party President Sonia Gandhi for the victory. Ahmed Patel will win with big margin, ' said Bharatsinh Solanki, Gujarat Congress president. She also thanked PM Modi, Amit Shah, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani and Gujarat BJP for reiterating the faith in her.

"Operation Rajya Sabha" will go on to strengthen Ahmed Patel, and the Congress' old guard. Apart from him, BJP president Amit Shah and Union Minsiter Smriti Irani were also elected to the House.

Earlier due to defections and fear of cross-voting, the Congress party had to send its party MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru. "Why should it be seen as a setback for the BJP or victory for the Congress?" Those two votes of the Congress rebels turned the tables against the BJP which may be planning to take the battle to the Supreme Court.

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The prime minister's compliment for Shah came at a BJP parliamentary party meeting, in which he again made his displeasure known at members skipping parliamentary proceedings, at times despite a whip.

Shah and another minister from Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were comfortably re-elected to the two other seats that were up for grabs. "Now, Congress must remember this in future, reciprocate it and treat us like younger brother", NCP senior leader Majeed Memon stold new agency.

Meanwhile, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Arun Jaitley met the Election Commission and claimed that the "the concept of secrecy in elections to Rajya Sabha is no more valid because the Parliament itself has made elections to the Rajya Sabha through the open ballot".

Shankarsinh Vaghela had earlier said Ahmed Patel is his freind and he would vote for him. "This was the toughest election that I have fought in my life", Patel told Congress MLAs at Gandhinagar Circuit House.

However, the BJP insists that Kotadiya has not cross-voted and is only trying to save his skin from the wrath of Patidars, who have crossed swords with BJP over the demand for reservation.

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