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Gujarat MLAs return from Karnataka

09 August 2017

Vaghela had earlier raised the banner of revolt against the grand old party and had said he would not resign from the party till the Rajya Sabha elections were held.

The Congress has the strength of 51 in the House but it can not bank upon the seven MLAs who refused to go to Bengaluru.

Congress Gujarat legislator Shaktisinh Gohil alleged said party lawmakers Bholabhai and Raghavji Bhai voted for BJP and showed their votes publicly. Chidambaram told reporters after the meeting, "The law is very clear".

In 182 member assembly, BJP has 122 seats including dissident Nalin Kotadiya. As the six MLA's of Rajya Sabha Gujarat has resigned from the party and each candidate needs 45 votes to win. It may be recalled that the Congress wants to get Ahmed Patel re-elected to the Rajya Sabha at any cost.

From the BJP, gathering's national president Amit Shah, Union clergyman Smriti Irani and previous Congress MLA turned-BJP pioneer Balwantsinh Rajput are in the race while political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel, is the Congress competitor looking for a fifth term. But after Congress leaders approached it again and persevered, after high drama, the EC declared the two votes as invalid. Notwithstanding this defence, these votes were voices of dissent.

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Former Union Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela said on Monday that he was not in touch with Congress MLAs ahead of the crucial Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat on Tuesday. He said that since the party is a partner of UPA, NCP voted for Congress. Other than Congress Patel is counting on votes from 2 legislators from Sharad Pawar's NCP.

However, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has made a decision to vote for the BJP, India Today reported. By 2001, the Congress had 60 seats, having wrested seats from BJP in the by-elections including urban seats like Sabarmati in Ahmedabad and Sayajigunj in Vadodara.

Ahmed Patel, who has represented Gujarat seven times in Parliament, three times in Lok Sabha and four times in Rajya Sabha, is the chief strategist for Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Before voting began, Congress had a clear support of 44 MLAs. After his departure, as many as six Congress MLAs close to him defected, three of which joined the BJP. There are NCP and JD (U) too.

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. This would mean a contestant has to muster 45 votes.

Gujarat MLAs return from Karnataka