Skip to main content

Sonia adviser Ahmed Patel unlikely to win Gujarat Rajya Sabha seat, BJP needs to "buy" one MLA: Congress insider

Ahmed Patel with Sonia Gandhi
By Our Representative
The Congress leadership may have flown 44 of its Gujarat MLAs to Karnataka to “safeguard” the Rajya Sabha seat of Ahmed Patel, political adviser to party chief Sonia Gandhi. But Congress insiders doubt if this this make Patel’s seat fully secure. The MLAs were flown by late evening Indigo flight to Bengaluru on Friday.
“Simple calculation suggests that Ahmed Patel might not be able to win. BJP needs to win over just one more MLA”, a top Congress source, refusing to be named, said, adding, “Considering that the total strength of the Gujarat state assembly is 182, divided between four candidates, Ahmed Patel would require the vote of 46 MLAs to win.”
The four candidates who fighting for three Rajya Sabha seats are BJP chief Ahmed Patel, Union minister Smriti Irani, Congress' Ahmed Patel, and Balwantsinh Rajput, who resigned from Congress to be a BJP candidate.
Pointing out that as of today, six of the Congress MLAs have resigned from the assembly, bringing down the strength of the state assembly to 176, the source said, “Divided by four, it means, Ahmed Patel needs 44 votes.”
“Congress’ original strength, before these resignations took shape, was 57. With these MLAs gone, the strength has gone down to 51. Considering that at least five other MLAs who are still in the Congress but might cross vote, the total votes that Ahmed Patel might come be down to 46”, the insider said.
These MLAs are Sankarsinh Vaghela, who created a ripple by resigning as leader of opposition (LoP), and confirmed loyalist MLAs – son Mahendrasinh Vaghela, CK Raulji, Amit Chaudhury and Raghavji Patel. It’s just a question of the BJP succeeding in wooing at least one MLA to ensure the defeat of Ahmed Patel , the insider points out.
Vaghela has resigned as LoP but has said would resign as MLA after the Rajya Sabha polls.
“The whole political game of wooing MLAs is going on at a time when two Nationalist Congress Party MLAs Kandal Jadeja, son of ‘godmother’ Santokhben Jadeja, and Jayant Patel alias Boski, are unlikely to vote for Ahmed Patel. Nor is it likely that well-known tribal leader Chhotubhai Vasava of the Janata Dal (United) vote for Ahmed Patel”, the insider insisted.
Vaghela meets Amit Shah on March 30 
“It’s a touch and go situation”, the insider said, adding, “It’s a matter of spending a few crores, which his nothing for the BJP. Gujarat’s richest MLA, Balwantsinh Rajput, who was chief whip of the Congress legislative party, has already joined the BJP. According to our information, he has been given the task of carrying out the easy operation.”
The Congress crisis deepened following three Congress MLAs submitting their resignation to state assembly speaker Ramanlal Vora on Friday – Ramsinh Parmar, Mansingh Chouhan and Chhanabhai Chaudhary. They resigned a day after three MLAs – Balwantsinh Rajput, Tejashree Patel and Prahlad Patel -- quit the party to join the BJP.”
After resigning as leader of opposition, Vaghela declared that he would “surely” vote for Ahmed Patel and only then resign as MLA. But he later threatened that if Gujarat Congress in charge and ex-Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot does not withdraw “baseless” allegations against him, he wouldn’t vote for Ahmed Patel.
“I haven’t resigned as MLA”, he told newspersons on July 26. “I had promised Ahmed Patel my vote. However, Gehlot has made baseless allegations that BJP president Amit Shah pressured me to resign from LoP, otherwise a CBI or ED would be be moved against me. Gehlot must withdraw the statement and apologize in case Ahmed Patel wants my vote.”
Voting for Rajya Sabha takes place on August 8. As against three seats from Gujarat, there are four candidates in the field – BJP party chief Amit Shah, Union minister Smruti Irani, Congress’ Ahmed Patel, and Balwant Singh Rajput, the man who resigned from Congress two days back to join the BJP.
The recent presidential polls saw BJP candidate Ramnath Kovind get as many as 11 more votes of Gujarat MLAs than the BJP party strength; of these at least eight whom were from the Congress. “Here, the BJP requires 16 MLAs, hence the whole exercise of horse-trading”, the Congress insider said.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

Upholding labour rights, Nehruvian scientific temper, Rajni Patel opposed Emergency

By Harsh Thakor*  Rajni Patel, who died 40 years ago, whatever his flaws, had one great quality: his human touch to offer selfless service and ability to galvanise or influence human beings from all walks of life. Few people would ever go out of the way to help someone or serve as selflessly without aim of personal gain. Rajni championed Nehruvian secular ideas and scientific temper. As a master in public relations he revealed utmost humility. As a barrister, he never appeared against the trade unions or workers. A Fabien Socialist he opposed liberal capitalism and radical socialism. Unlike most lawyers, he did not succumb to the lure of amassing wealth. Rajni was born in Sirsa, in Gujarat, on the very day Gandhi set foot on Indian soil, on 9th January, 1915. He gained his baptism through one of Gandhi's speeches calling for the boycott of foreign goods, which was the virtual turning point of his life. Rajni toed Gandhi to organise boycott of foreign goods. Rajni was able to cros

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

Examples of support to Hindu temples, scriptures, saints by 'Muslim' rulers galore

Siya Ram coin issued by Akbar By Bharat Dogra* At a time when the country as well as the world are passing through very difficult times leading to more urgent need for strengthening national unity for meeting several big challenges ahead, unfortunately disputes relating to religious places have been allowed to raise their ugly head once again. It is well-realized by now by many people that it is not historical facts but narrow considerations of political gain and spreading of fanatic ideas of intolerance which are behind such mischief, but due to the increasing threat of mob violence and patronage available at higher levels to groups spreading intolerance many people are reluctant to openly and fearlessly express their views. Hence there is urgent need for broad-based peace committees with wider social support to spread the message of communal harmony and to appeal against the dangers of spreading false messages regarding places of worship which can ultimate

Vadodara violence: Fine Arts Faculty alumni raise fingers at Varsity's political appointee

Hasmukh Vaghela with PM Counterview Desk  In a statement, alumni of the Faculty of Fine Arts (FoFA), Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), Baroda, Gujarat, referring to the “violence” by right-wing groups for displaying “objectionable” paintings that “hurt religious sentiments” at the one of India’s top fine arts institute May 5, have taken strong exception to “the assault and rustication” of one of the students, and lack of action taken against those who “violated” the institution and committed the act. Floated as an online petition seeking wider support, the FoFA alumni, in their statement, addressed to the vice chancellor, MSU, said, there should be “thorough” investigation in the whole incident and “immediate action” should be taken against syndicate member Hasmukh Vaghela, MSU, who sparked the assault, and “other co-conspirators” for breaching “university code of conduct and unlawful activities committed in broad daylight”. While the alumni statement doesn't say so, Vaghela

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie

Whither climate goal? Increasing reliance on coal 'likely to worsen' India's power crisis

By Shankar Sharma*  Recent news articles, How to shock-proof India’s power sector and Power minister points finger at states for worsening electricity crisis , have highlighted a few current problems for the ongoing power sector issues as in April 2022. However, there is a lot more to it than a few temporary solutions as indicated in the articles. It should also be emphasised that it is techno-economically impossible to completely shock-proof a highly complex and geographically wide-spread vast power network, such as the one in India, which is only getting more and more complex with the passage of each year due to some irrational policies/ practices in the sector. A business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, wherein more and more of conventional technology power plants, including coal power plants, will be added in the near future, will also necessitate the increased complexity in the integrated national grid, and as a result the instances of power shortage/ disruptions can only escalate for

A former Modi ally, Prashant Kishor wanted to enter Congress 'on contract, as trader'

By Anand Sahay*  The Congress Party and the election campaigns specialist Prashant Kishor, whose company has done strategic communications for a host of political parties across ideology, should both count themselves lucky that they could not reach an agreement for Kishor to join the party. News reports suggest that the Congress rejected Kishor’s terms. This is not wholly unexpected. People join a party because they are attracted to it, and wish to serve it in any capacity that the party may see fit. But that isn’t Kishor at all. He gave the impression of entering into a contract, as a trader might. If news reports are to be believed, he sought freedom to report directly to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and sought untrammeled control over party communications. When such ideas did not find favour, the consultant withdrew. It is clear he has no particular love for the Congress, and its ideas, ideology and politics. In contrast, look at the key personae in G-23. They