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Patel assures Rahul of tough fight in Gujarat Assembly polls

11 August 2017

They also asserted that the concept of secrecy in Rajya Sabha elections is no more valid because the parliament has made elections to Rajya Sabha through open ballot.

That is against the rules of the game. That shows that Kumar's writ runs in Bihar, but not in other states. And Gujarat is special. The Congress wanted him to win at all costs.

At his first press conference here after the debacle, Vaghela appearing rattled with the sudden turn of events, claimed that Patel's victory had been pre-planned.

It was still going to be a tight-rope walk as Karamsinh Patel, who was among the group of 44 MLAs who were whisked away to Bengaluru, defied the Congress whip and cross-voted.

Earlier, on the day of voting, the Congress had complained to the EC, saying that two of its MLAs showed their votes to unauthorised persons and demanded their votes should not be counted and should be rejected.

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Union Minister Piyush Goel said, the Congress is crying foul after seeing possible defeat in the polls. For the Congress and the BJP the honours were split. The Congress need not worry about them now.

While the political high drama ended in Congress victory, the party is still insecure with more dissents expected in the days to come, say political observers. Why is this not being done in Gujarat?

The meeting was convened by Patel to thank the MLAs who stood by him against "all kind of offers from the BJP", party leaders said.

The Congress had made candidature of Patel a matter of prestige.

Patel, the powerful Political Secretary of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, won by the skin of his teeth. "This was the toughest election that I have fought in my life", Patel told Congress MLAs at Gandhinagar Circuit House.

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Eight Congress MLAs cross-voted in favour of the BJP candidate Balwantsinh Rajput as also the two NCP legislators who turned their back on the party leadership to support the BJP. The other MLAs, who voted for the BJP, can join the party. He found it hard to vote against the BJP for fear of reprisal from its bosses. "All this will be challenged in the court of law", said Vaghela, who is related to Rajput.

Soon thereafter, a BJP delegation of Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman and Dharmendra Pradhan met the Election Commission seeking immediate counting of votes.

In such a scenario, Patel's team appears to be erring on the side of caution.

"Much of the credit for the survival of democracy goes to the Election Commission €" and this is a huge relief because of the times we live in. "Amit Shah is now here".

But Patel knows Modi and Shah better than anyone else, particularly the working of their minds.

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'Big win for democracy; will boost morale of Congress workers.