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Voting for Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat begins

Gandhinagar, Aug 8:-- Voting for Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat began on Tuesday morning.

 

The Rajya Sabha election in the state has assumed much importance after several Congress MLAs resigned and few joined the ruling BJP's camp.

 

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

 

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

 

Amid a high drama of political slug fest senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who is contesting for a Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, on Monday said he is sure of his victory as all the party MLAs are united.

 

Patel, political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, is seeking a fifth consecutive term which faces challenge with the ruling BJP going all out to scuttle election.

 

"We are confident, it can be seen on MLAs' faces. We are sure of victory," media reports quoted Patel as claiming.  .

 

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 after they were kept huddled in a Karnataka resort.

 

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.

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