New Delhi: The political drama in Gujarat will climax on Tuesday with the Rajya Sabha elections for three in the state. The polls have become a high-stake battle for both the BJP and Congress. While BJP has fielded party president Amit Shah and Union Textiles Minister Smrti Iran, while Congress President’s political secretary Ahmed Patel is the Congress candidate.
The polls have become exciting and thrilling as they happen in the backdrop of Congress MLAs quitting party to join BJP, resignation of Congress veteran Shankarsinh Vaghela from party and then 44 Congress MLAS being ferried to Bengaluru by Congress to prevent alleged poaching by the BJP. What happened before Gujarat RS polls 1.44 Congress MLAs returned from Bengaluru on Monday. They were lodged at a resort near Anand from where they will go to Gandhinagar directly for voting . On Monday Congress party chief whip Sailesh Parmar said, “All our MLAs have decided not to go to their home even on this day of 'Rakshabandhan' and be loyal soldiers of the Congress party. They will stay together and they will go to vote for the Rajya Sabha polls tomorrowfrom Anand," 2. Congress leader Ahmed Patel, seeking his fifth consecutive term in RS, is confident of victory. "I have full confidence in my victory tomorrowdespite the BJP's attempts and the numbers will surprise everyone," Patel said on Monday. 3. On the other hand BJP said that Patel will lose, and all three of its candidates will win. Apart from Amit Shah and Smriti Irani, the party has fielded former Congress party chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput who recently joined BJP. 4. No side is willing to concede defeat. "BJP, by adopting cheap methods, is conspiring to turn minority votes into majority in Gujarat. They can make all attempts to insult the people's mandate... But we are confident that Ahmed Patel is going to be victorious," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala on Monday 5. To avoid glitch in voting, BJP and Congress MLAs practiced voting for RS polls 6. Former Congress strongman Shankersinh Vaghela has not opened his cards. He just said that Patel is his good friend, while denying that he was in touch with BJP. "We have been friends since then and we remain friends till now. Even today, we talked over phone. Our relationship is not limited to politics," Vaghela said. 7. RS polls are being seen as a show of strength by the BJP before the assembly elections due this year. 8. Ahmed Patel needs 45 votes to win. Congress at present has 44 MLAs 9. Patel is hoping for votes from 2 NCP MLAs (late Monday night one NCP MLA said he will vote for BJP) and 1 LA each from JD(U) and Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP). 10. Congress is hoping some of 7 MLAs close to Vaghela will vote for it 11. Polling will start from 9am on Tuesday The Gujarat assembly has 182 members. BJP has 121 MLAs while Congress had 57 MLAs of which 6 left party to join BJP and 7 are in the Vaghela camp. News24Bureau