NCP switches sides, says will vote for BJP

Katrina Barker
Августа 9, 2017

"If I'm not with Congress, you know where will I be", Congress MLA Raghavji Patel said after casting his vote for BJP.

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.

Meanwhile, sources informed Catch that Congress leadership too is in touch with BJP MLAs and the likelihood of some of them voting in favour of Patel is not being ruled out. On paper, the Congress is down to 51 seats. They will head straight to the State capital on Tuesday to cast their votes for the Rajya Sabha election.

The BJP exudes confidence, borne out of the fact that two seats are a safe bet and it has succeeded in taking the battle into the rival camp by targeting Congress strategist Ahmed Patel.

However, Ahmed Patel is sure that he has enough support to win the upcoming elections with a major fraction belonging to the JD (U) and NCP. While Upper House polls barely attract any attention, this one has grabbed eyeballs across the nation - right from horse trading allegations, MLAs trip to Bangalore and now to cross-voting.

Vaghela said the Congress will "suffer" because of moving MLAs to Bengaluru when the state was reeling under flood.

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On Tuesday, the legislators will directly go to state capital Gandhinagar to vote for the party's Rajya Sabha nominee Ahmed Patel. Vaghela was apparently upset for not being named party's chief ministerial candidate.

He further said that the party has requested the ECI to ensure their votes should not be counted and should be rejected. Of these, Gohil and Patel apparently voted for BJP. In a political fight between the two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Opposition Congress, Gujarat is seeing a standout amongst the most anticipated Rajya Sabha decision. From the Congress point of view, fear of cross-voting looms large. Following this, they demanded cancellation of the two votes.

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". Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel is pitted against the saffron party's Balwantsinh Rajput for the third seat.

"I want to stay in politics but not in Congress", said rebel Congress MLA Patel.

A candidate in the current polls needs to garner 45 votes for a straight win.

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