The Congress on Tuesday said party legislators who cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat will be suspended with immediate effect. "Six more Gujarat Congress MLAs to be expelled from the party for violating the whip in the Rajya Sabha polls", Ashok Gehlot told ANI.
State BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said that if rebel Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela wished to rejoin the BJP, the party would consider it. BJP President Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani are the other two winners.
Even in Patel's victory, the signs for the Congress are ominous. Desai further said, "We too made a complaint against another Congress MLA and insisted that Raghvaji and Gohel had not shown their votes to anyone".
"Videograph of the entire process is available with the Returning Officer and he may be immediately directed to follow the law in letter and spirit", said the party. He disrupted the whole arithmetic that assured Patel an easy victory with the support of Congress MLAs.
The MLAs have to give their preferential votes indicating first choice, second, third, fourth (as per number of candidates) or they can choose NOTA, they said. But the vote of an NCP MLA boosted Patel's numbers and things turned in his favour.
The Congress leader's win in dramatic, nail-biting, circumstances is expected to be a shot in the arm for the depleted Congress in the coming Assembly polls, though the BJP retains the upper hand as it controls power.
Hence to win this election is a matter of prestige for the Congress Party, because if Sonia Gandhi cannot even get her close associates into Rajya Sabha, then how will she lead the party in such moment of despair. Two invalid votes by rebel Cong MLAs Raghavji Patel and Bhola Gohel meant the Assembly strength was down from 176 to 174 and the threshold required to win was reduced from 45 to 44. He said neither the Congress nor the poll observers had raised any objection, when the votes were cast in the morning. Congress stalwart Shankersinh Vaghela added to the pain on voting day by declaring that he hadn't voted for Patel.
A Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist, he has represented Gujarat seven times in Parliament - three-time as Lok Sabha member from Bharuch and four-time as Rajya Sabha member.
In such critical circumstances with the party struggling to keep its position safe in Gujarat this victory of Ahmed Patel has certainly created a hope in Congress, although the party needs to keep the hope alive in the party workers also.
Patel may have won a personal fight by getting himself elected to Rajya Sabha for the fifth time despite all odds.
The other Congress leader Jadeja said that he voted for BJP as Congress was not paying heed to them.