EC declares votes of 2 Congress MLAs who had cross-voted invalid

High-stake Gujarat RS elections today

NCP has two and JD (U) has one MLA in the house.

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".

"We request the Election Commission to immediately begin counting of votes", said Piyush Goyal as the impasse continued.

The MLAs were moved to a private resort near Bengaluru on July 29 following the resignation of six Congress legislators.

The party in power in Gujarat "poached" three of six Congress legislators. The Congress is also hoping to win back a few of its seven MLAs, out of its total 51 in the State Assembly, who did not go to Bengaluru and are believed to be close to the Vaghela camp.

"We repeatedly told the Elelction Commission not to order a fishing enquiry on Congress demand". Terming Congress' objections as "baseless", a delegation of BJP leaders, including Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Piyush Goyal, approached the EC demanding immediate counting of votes, contending that validity of votes once put in ballot boxes can not be questioned.

Ahmed Patel, the political advisor to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, is seeking a fifth Rajya Sabha term but his chances of re-election are bleak, predicted Vaghela.

In a significant development, the Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday sacked Gujarat General Secretary Arun Srivastava for alleged anti-party activities.

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"It is not by any means beyond any doubt that all the 44 MLAs of the Congress will vote in favor of a similar individual, they may likewise do cross voting".

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. Other than Congress Patel is counting on votes from 2 legislators from Sharad Pawar's NCP. "If I'm not with Congress, this is understood where I will be", Raghavji Patel said making his intentions clear. The elections are significant due to the high-profile candidates involved - BJP president Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel. They will be brought to Gandhinagar on Tuesday morning for the voting for the three RS seats.

In 182 member assembly, BJP has 122 seats including dissident Nalin Kotadiya. NCP has 2 and JD U has 1 MLA in the house.

"I thank all MLAs & leadership of the party". None will be eligible to vote in the Rajya Sabha election on August 8.

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

"Congress hadn't been listening to us for a year".

Congress leader Ahmed Patel retains Rajya Sabha seat.

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