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Ahead of RS polls, Gujarat Congress MLAs return home from Bengaluru

08 August 2017

However, former Congress stalwart Shankersinh Vaghela, after casting his vote, told reporters, "As Ahmed Patel is going to lose, I have not given my vote to him". It may be recalled that 3 political heavyweights are in the fray for the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls, BJP leaders Amit Shah and Smriti Irani and Congress candidate Ahmed Patel.

"We need 45 votes and we have that".

The Congress is also expecting to get the support of two MLAs of NCP and one MLA of JD (U). "Let's wait till tomorrow to see what happens", he said.

If the BJP manages to stymie Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Patel's fifth term to the Rajya Sabha, it will perceptibly not just be Ahmed Patel's who will stand defeated, but Sonia Gandhi also. "So, I have not given my vote to Ahmed Patel", he said. "Bad timing of shifting MLAs is something which will make them (Congress) suffer", ANI quoted the former Congress leader as saying.

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As the Assembly building is undergoing renovation, the RS elections will be held at Swarnim Sankul-II building which houses Vijay Rupani Government's junior Ministers. "I am an optimist, I have total trust in my MLAs that they will vote for me". The third seat has become a virtual head to head fight against BJP's Balwantsinh Rajput. Political circles in Delhi also feel BJP's all-out bid to trip Patel is meant to set the atmospherics for the December assembly polls in Gujarat with the BJP facing resentment of the Patel community. Raghavji has been complaining to the party about his problems but he was not taken care of.

With six of Congress legislators having quit party beforehand, its strength in the Assembly had reduced from 57 to 51 effectively.

■ NCP MLA Kandhal Jadeja: "Had cleared things yesterday itself".

The NCP, it appeared, was divided on the issue, with Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule, an MP, saying the party would back the Congress candidate.

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"However much they (BJP) try to conspire, Congress will walk the path of truth and will win", he added. Of the remaining 51 MLAs, seven, including Shankersinh Vaghela, did not join those who were flown to Bengaluru.

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. The BJP can not threaten any of our MLAs. He has resigned from the Congress but will vote for Ahmed Patel.

The other NCP MLA, Jayant Patel Bosky, is believed to have voted for Patel and so has Janata Dal-United's Chhotubhai Vasava.

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