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Gujarat Rajya Sabha voting ends, all eyes on fate of Ahmed Patel

Ahmedabad, Aug 8:-- Voting for the crucial Rajya Sabha elections for three seats in Gujarat, which is witnessing a prestige battle between the Congress and the BJP, ended on Tuesday amid speculations over the fate of Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel whom the ruling BJP is trying to defeat by going all out.

 

The poll  witnessed a tough battle with BJP fielding its key members-party president Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani.

 

The Congress is fighting the poll with its heavyweight candidate Ahmed Patel whose election also is important for Congress chief Sonia Gandhi since he is a close aide being and functions as the political secretary the Congress chief. 

 

Patel  contested against BJP's Balwantsinh Rajput.

 

Patel told NDTV: "Never seen such a tense and bitter battle in my entire political career."

 

After the resignation of  former Gujarat chief minister and veteran Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela, and with three party members joining the BJP, the Congress had flown 44 of its lawmakers to Bengaluru late last month to stop any defection.

 

Congress accused the incumbent Gujarat government of trying to lure 22 Congress lawmakers by offering Rs 15 crores to each MLA and asking them to cross vote during the polls.

 

 

 

Amid a high drama of political slug fest senior Ahmed Patel on Monday said he is sure of his victory as all the party MLAs are united.

 

Patel  is seeking a fifth consecutive term which faces challenge with the ruling BJP going all out to scuttle his election.

 

After days of suspense that involved party legislators, who the Congress believed were being targeted by BJP for horsetrading to ensure Patel's defeat, all the 44 MLAs returned to the state in the wee hours of Monday from Karnataka where they were flown to keep BJP feelers at bay.

 

The Congress had whisked them away from the state for a "safer custody" after six of its MLAs  deserted the party recently and  three of them joined the BJP.

 

According to reports, they were taken to the Neejanand Resort in Gujarat's Anand district, located 77 km from Ahmedabad, ahead of the election for three seats.

 

Meanwhile, former Gujarat Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela, who recently quit the Congress, on Tuesday said he did not vote for the party's candidate Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha election of state.

 

Interacting with the media, Vaghela said: "There is no point in voting someone who will not win."

 

"I had freed Congress last month and today they also said that I am free to vote anyone", he said.

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