Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections Live: Ahmed Patel wins 44 votes, retains RS seat
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New Delhi: Veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel late on Tuesday night retained his Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat by winning 44 votes, after the Election Commission ruled in the Congress’s favour and invalidated the votes of two rebel Congress MLAs who showed their ballots to BJP president Amit Shah.
At this juncture, the BJP tried to stall the counting of votes, already delayed by over six hours, but couldn’t stop Patel from retaining his Rajya Sabha seat. BJP president Amit Shah and union minister Smriti Irani also won in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections.
Here are the latest updates and developments from Gujarat Rajya Sabha election results:
■ Truth has won and ego has suffered defeat. BJP’s claims were proved hollow, says Congress leader R.S. Surjewala on Ahmed Patel’s victory. (ANI)
■ Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani and Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil have a brief interaction at the counting centre in Gandhinagar. (ANI)
“Don’t agree with the EC’s decision. In coming days we will fight a legal battle and will get justice,” says Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani on Gujarat Rajya Sabha election results. (ANI)
■ Congress workers gather outside party headquarters in Delhi to celebrate Ahmed Patel’s victory. (ANI)
This is not just my victory. It is a defeat of the most blatant use of money power,muscle power and abuse of state machinery— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) August 8, 2017
■ BJP’s Amit Shah and Smriti Irani have won Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat.
■ Ahmed Patel has retained his Rajya Sabha seat in Gujarat, winning 44 votes.
■ Counting of votes for Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections begins in Gandhinagar.
■ The Election Commission is set to begin counting of votes again. (ANI)
■ Counting of votes for Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections stalled after the BJP claims 2 Congress MLAs violated rules by showing ballots to unauthorised people. (PTI)
■ BJP MLA Nalin Kotadia says he voted for Congress because his demands regarding the Patidar community were not accepted. “Seeing the pain of 14 youths who died during Patidar agitation, I have voted against BJP,” said Kotadia in a Facebook post. (CNNNews18)
■ “Appreciate the Election Commission order... Now, need 44 votes, confident of winning,” says Ahmed Patel. (NDTV)
■ BJP legislator Nalin Kotadia admits in a video statement that he did not vote for his party, says a News18 tweet. Kotadia was member of former Gujarat CM Keshubhai Patel’s Gujarat Parivartan Party before it was merged with the BJP.
■ Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said Ahmed Patel thanked the Election Commission for taking the decision to invalidate the votes of the two rebel Congress MLAs. “Everyone thought Amit Shah is always successful in unlawful,negative things but Gujarat proved this kind of authority won’t work,” Solanki added. (ANI)
■ Gujarat deputy CM Nitin Patel says will take legal action, if required, on the Election Commission declaring votes of two Congress MLAs invalid.
If required we will take legal action: Gujarat Dy CM Nitinbhai Patel on EC verdict declaring vote of 2 Cong MLAs as invalid
■ “The decision is sad. If the CD of voting is made public, not just us, the whole nation will say the decision is wrong, says Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel on EC decision to invalidate votes of two rebel Congress MLAs.
“Shaktisinh Gohil was angry when MLA showed him his vote, he is visibly angry; tried to snatch the ballot paper. I believe they already had plans since yesterday (Monday) to make this fabricated story and conspiracy,” Patel added (ANI)
■ “Truth has emerged victorious in spite of the BJP using all the power. Ahmed Patel will win,” says Congress leader R.S. Surjewala. (ANI)
■ “Big win for democracy, will boost morale of the Congress worker. Ahmed Patel will win with big margin,” says Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki on Election Commission’s move to invalidate the votes of rebel Congress MLAs. (ANI)
■ Election Commission asks returning officer to start counting of votes in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections after segregating the votes in question. (ANI)
■ Cancellation of the votes of the two rebel Congress MLAs brings down the strength of Gujarat Assembly to 174. Ahmed Patel needs 44 seats to win Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections.
■ Election Commission declares votes of Congress MLAs Bholabhai Gohil and Raghavbhai Patel as invalid. (ANI)
■ Janata Dal (United) sacks Gujarat general secretary Arun Srivastava for writing to the EC returning officer over appointment of party’s election agent when he was not directed to do so. (ANI)
■ Counting of votes for Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections will take place at 11.30pm Tuesday. (NDTV 24X7)
■ “With all respect, (I) want to tell BJP that this is the war of truth, lies cannot prevail on Gandhiji’s land,” says Congress’s R.S. Surjewala outside the Election Commission in Delhi. (ANI)
■ The Election Commission has seen the video of the voting in Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections, and will very soon announce its decision. (NDTV 24X7)
■ It is a complete sham that the Congress is indulging in, the allegations are completely baseless, says union minister Piyush Goyal at the Election Commission. (ANI)
■ EC officials did not meet Congress and BJP delegations for the third time; officials are in closed door meeting right now. (ANI)
■ The BJP delegation also reaches Election Commission for the third time. (ANI)
■ Congress leaders including R.P.N. Singh and Randeep Surjewala going to the Election Commission for the third time. (ANI)
■ BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says the party has appealed to start the counting of votes immediately because free and fair elections took place in Gujarat. (ANI)
■ The Election Commission will take a call on the Congress’s demand for invalidating votes of two of its MLAs who claimed to have voted for BJP nominees in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha election today, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel has said. (PTI)
■ Ravi Shankar Prasad comes out of EC headquarters, says have full faith in Election Commission, Congress’s allegations have no substance and they are giving wrong precedents. (ANI)
■ Finance minister Arun Jaitley also arrives at the Election Commission headquarters. (ANI)
■ Congress leader and former finance minister P. Chidambaram steps into Rajya Sabha election results debate, says Election Commission must reject these ballot papers as it did in Haryana in June 2016. (ANI)
■ BJP delegation, including union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and Ravi Shankar Prasad arrive at the Election Commission office in New Delhi again. (ANI)
■ BJP demands immediate counting of votes polled in Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections and announcement of results, says Congress is reacting out of fear of defeat. (PTI)
■ I’m very much confident (of victory), let the counting (of votes) take place, says Ahmed Patel. (ANI)
■ BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad says the Congress has been levelling baseless allegations, they did not protest about the rebel MLAs votes on Tuesday morning. “Requested EC to reject Congress’s plea as once votes are cast then nothing can be done, process was fair,” Prasad added. “Since morning Congress has been claiming a win, now with defeat staring in their face they are making desperate attempts.” (ANI)
■ Congress leaders, including Anand Sharma and Randeep Surjewala, will go to the Election Commission again shortly. (ANI)
■ Congress leader Ahmed Patel says the complaint was filed immediately but returning officer didn’t do anything. (ANI)
■ We had raised objection at 9.30 am, but EC has not responded till now, shows that they are being put under pressure, added Modhwadia. (ANI)
■ Gujarat Congress MLA Arjun Modhwadia says the party had requested that Congress, BJP and the presiding officer should jointly watch the (voting) video, but BJP objected. “We are waiting for EC decision,” he added. (ANI)
■ Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Nirmala Sitharaman also reach Election Commission.
■ An Election Commission meeting is taking place right now over Congress complaint against two rebel Congress MLAs showing their votes to BJP president Amit Shah; EC’s decision on the matter will come today, say people aware of the developments. (ANI)
■ BJP delegation, including union ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan going to Election Commission. (ANI)
■ The Congress is demanding cancellation of Rajya Sabha elections. Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala and RPN Singh have reportedly reached the Election Commission office in Delhi, demanding Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls to be cancelled. (Times Now)
#RajyaSabhaPolls :Cong asked state EC to review video where 2 Cong MLAs showed vote slip to BJP & demand to quashed their votes, EC refused— Tv9 Gujarati (@tv9gujarati) August 8, 2017
■ Gujarat JD (U) General Secretary Ambalal Jadhav: “Who is K.C. Tyagi to say anything? Chotubhai has voted, he will tell. Our support is with Ahmed Patel.” (ANI)
■ Congress complaint against the two rebe MLAs sent to Central Election Commission in Delhi. Counting will begin once reply is received. (ANI)
■ People close to the Election Commission (EC) say votes of two rebel Congress MLAs who flashed votes towards Amit Shah maybe considered invalid. (The Quint)
S.Y. Qureshi to News18: “A legislator cannot show his vote to anybody, except for his own party representative.
■ Counting of votes has restarted in Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections, Congress’s Ahmed Patel braces for a tough fight.
■ Chief Election Commissioner arrives at the counting place to counting to break impasse. (News18)
■ BJP chief Amit Shah arrives at the polling centre. Meanwhile, Congress allegations of rebel MLAs showing papers to Shah holds counting of votes. The party wants the issue of rebel MLAs flouting election rules to resolve first. (News18)
■ The lone JD(U) MLA in Gujarat, Chhotu Vasava, on Tuesday said he voted for Congress’ nominee Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha polls as the ruling BJP has done little for tribal people and the poor.
Vasava represents Scheduled Tribe reserved Jhagadia assembly seat in Bharuch district in south Gujarat.
The legislator, whose party recently forged ties with the BJP in Bihar, said he decided to vote for the Congress candidate as “he is unhappy with the ruling party’s works for the poor and tribal population” that he represents.
“BJP has ruled the state for 22 years but has ignored the state’s tribal areas, which remain undeveloped as the government has done nothing for the poor and tribal population,” he told PTI over phone.
He said the decision to vote for the Congress nominee was solely his own and not necessarily that of the party which he represents.
“Nitish Kumar (Bihar chief minister and JD(U) president) did not contact me over voting, and there was nothing like a whip issued by the party in this regard. The decision to vote for Patel was my own,” he said.
However, ANI quotes JD (U) leader K C Tyagi as saying that our MLA has voted for BJP, contradicting what Vasava has been saying so far.
Nitish ji had asked our Gujarat MLA Chhotubhai Vasava to vote for BJP and he voted BJP: KC Tyagi,JDU pic.twitter.com/EBFBuBgNBx— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2017
■ Congress demands delay in counting of Rajya Sabha Polls, raises doubts about returning officer. (Republic TV)
■ Shaktisinh Gohil: Two Congress MLAs who voted for BJP showed their votes to Amit Shahji, it has been video-graphed. If a voter shows his vote to anyone other than party’s authorized agent, then the vote gets rejected. (ANI)
■ Ashok Gehlot: “Whoever has cross-voted will be suspended with immediate effect.” (Firstpost)
■ NCP to take actions against its MLA Kandhal Jadeja for voting against party whip. (Tv9 Gujarati)
■ “All the 176 MLAs have voted... Voting is over,” state Chief Electoral Officer B B Swain declared, hours before the deadline for the poll to close. The counting of votes will be taken up after 5pm. (PTI)
■ Congress’ Gujarat in-charge Ashok Gehlot today expressed confidence that senior party leader Ahmed Patel will win comfortably in the Rajya Sabha polls as he has the required numbers.
“Out of our 44 MLAs we accept that one of them has cross-voted, but one of NCP and one of JD(U) has given us support,” he claimed. “Ahmed Patel will win as we have the numbers,” Gehlot told reporters.
Congress leaders said they have got 45 votes, the magical number required to win the seat, as 43 of their MLAs, one from NCP and one from JD (U) have voted for the party.
The Congress has 51 MLAs in the House after six legislators resigned following a rebellion by senior party leader Shankarsinh Vaghela.
Out of the 51 MLAs, seven of Vaghela group (including Vaghela) had not gone to Bengaluru but the rest 44 had gone.
Technically, these seven MLAs are still with the Congress, including Vaghela as he has not resigned as MLA.
Gehlot accepted that all the seven MLAs of Vaghela group, including Raghavji Patel and Dharmedrasinh Jadeja, have cross-voted.
“However, out of 44 votes of our MLAs that we had expected to get, only one MLA has cross-voted and we have got two more votes,” he claimed.
Gehlot made the statement after voting by all the Congress, NCP and JD(U) MLA got over. Officially, the counting of votes will be held at 5pm. (PTI)
■ Ahmed Patel: “Numbers are in our favour, result should be good, I am confident and optimistic.” (ANI)
■ Voting for Gujarat Rajya Sabha Election has ended as all 176 MLAs have cast their votes. (ANI)
■ Counting to begin at 5pm. Earlier, voting began at the Swarnim Sankul 2 premises at 9am and will end at 4pm. The results are expected to be declared around 6pm.
■ Ashok Gehlot, Congress general secretary in charge of Gujarat: “We are confident of win. It is true that one Congress MLA cross-voted. But in spite of this cross-voting, Ahmed Patel will win the elections. This win will be a slap on the face of the BJP.” (News18)
■ Congress MLA Dharshi Khanpura casts his vote himself after Election Commission official denied his proxy voting request. (ANI)
■ 61 BJP MLAs and 43 Congress MLAs have cast their votes so far. (ANI)
■ Arjun Modhwadia: “We have got 43 votes so far, 1 MLA is going to vote. Chhotubhai Vasava (JDU) publicly said he voted for Ahmed bhai. Humen jitna prayaapt vote chaahiye ussay zyada votes mil chuke hain (we have secured more than enough votes),” the Congress leader said. (ANI)
■ Anandiben Patel: “Victory of our candidates certain. Party had been working for this since announcement of election dates,” former Gujarat CM said. (ANI)
■ Congress state chief Bharatsinh Solanki: “Ahmed bhai is winning. The BJP, by fielding thee candidates, has put Smriti Irani’s chances at risk.” (Hindustan Times)
■ Another Congress MLA from Sanand, Karmsinh Makwana reportedly defies whip and votes for BJP. Makwana was one of the 44 MLAs who were lodged in a private resort in Anand.
Earlier, BJP president Amit Shah, who is also an MLA from Gujarat, also came to cast his vote. (News18)
■ JD(U) MLA Chotu Vasava says: “I have voted as per party’s ideology.” (Hindustan Times)
■ Apart from Shankersinh Vaghela, other Congress MLAs who have not voted for Ahmed Patel are Mahendrasinh Vaghela,C. K. Raolji,Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Amit Chaudhary, Bholabhai Gohil, Raghavji Patel. (News18)
■ NCP’s Majeed Memon: “Things blown out of proportion because of Ahmed Patel. He’s in a risky situation,half of his people might end up voting for BJP.” (ANI)
■ Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani: BJP will win all three seats with the support of the NCP, JD (U) and Sankersinh Vaghela group. (Hindustan)
■ Dharmendra Jadeja: “Congress hadn’t been listening to us for a year. We have voted for Balwantsinh Rajput.” (ANI)
■ Raghavji Patel: “Voted for Balwantsinh Rajput. I want to stay in politics but not in Congress.” (ANI)
■ NCP MLA Kandhal Jadeja: “Had cleared things yesterday itself. You will know everything in the evening.” (ANI)
■ Shankersinh Vaghela: ‘No chance of Ahmed Patel winning’ the Rajya Sabha election. (News18)
■ Ahmed Patel: “When I am confident, party is confident we are going to win. Wait for the result to come.” (ANI)
On Monday, Ahmed Patel, who met Congress MLAs after they returned from their Bengaluru sojourn, said he was confident of his victory. “This poll is not at all about anyone’s prestige. I have full faith in my MLAs. Apart from these 44 (Congress) legislators, two of NCP, one of JD-U would vote for me,” Patel told reporters on Monday. (PTI)
■ Shankersinh Vaghela: “I have not voted for Ahmed Patel as the Congress party is not going to win.” (ANI)
Jab Cong jeetne waali hai hi nahi, vote bina matlab Cong ko dene ka matlab nahi tha. Humne Ahmed Patel ko vote nahi diya:Shankersinh Vaghela pic.twitter.com/LoQZES57K3— ANI (@ANI_news) August 8, 2017
■ The BJP with 121 MLAs can secure easy victories for BJP chief Shah and union minister Irani. (PTI)
■ The party will be left with 31 surplus votes for Rajput, who will require the backing of rebel MLAs of the Congress and smaller parties to win. Rajput till recently was Congress’ chief whip in the House. (PTI)
■ It is after a gap of about two decades that a contest is happening in Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat, where official nominees of major parties used to get elected unopposed, after the BJP fielded a Congress rebel against Patel, who is seeking a fifth term. (PTI)
■ According to Election Commission officials, a candidate would require one-fourth of the total number of votes plus one to get elected. This would mean a contestant has to muster 45 votes.
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. (PTI)