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 massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

Contempt of court? UP CM taking 'personal vendetta' against Dr Kafeel Khan: Activists

Counterview Desk
Demanding that the Uttar Pradesh government immediately release well-known paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, a group of more than 100 academicians, activists, researchers, doctors and lawyers have said in an open letter that he is being “targeted at the behest of the chief minister”, wondering, “When is an act of challenging the government a threat under the National Security Act (NSA)?”

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

ASI has 'no funds' to protect five centuries old Goa church, a World Heritage Site

Counterview Desk
The century-old All-India Catholic Union (AICU), the largest Laity movement in Asia, has blamed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for neglecting the historic Bom Jesu church by keeping its ceilings  open to the vagaries weather, with no steps  taken to protect the five century old monument from damage on account of impending rains on the lame excuse that there are "no funds". In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AICU simultaneously asks the Government of India to devise a "comprehensive" national social security safety net, universal health Insurance and medical Infrastructure so that the “calamity” that has befalenl millions of migrant labour and jobless rural and urban poor in “the Covid pandemic-driven lockdown is “never repeated.”

Withdraw sedition charges against three young women activists: 1100 feminists

Counterview Desk
About 1,100 feminists from all over India – organisations and individuals across religion, class, caste, ethnicity, ability, sexuality and genders – have issued a solidarity statement condemning what they have called “the targeted crackdown on Muslims and women activists in Delhi”, who were at the forefront of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).

Will Govt of India, ICMR end 'perverse' practice of extracting profits from ill-health?

By Asmita Verma, Surabhi Agarwal, Bobby Ramakant*
The Epidemics Act, 1897 gives the central and state governments authority to impose any regulations which may be necessary to contain the outbreak of a disease. Some state governments such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh have already used this power to bring private healthcare facilities in their state under government control.

Coping with Covid-19? Options before small, marginal farmers of rainfed regions

By Biswanath Sinha, Kuntal Mukherjee*
The global crisis due to Covid-19 has hit after reaching in western Europe. India’s response to curtail the spread of the disease was quite decisive. It announced a Janata curfew on the March 22, followed by a complete national lockdown from the midnight of March 24.

Tablighis or Namaste Trump? Rupani must 'clarify' on origin of Covid-19 in Gujarat

By Mujahid Nafees* In his video communication on April 24, 2020, chief minister Vijay Rupani informed us that in the month of March the Gujarat government had quarantined 6,000 people returning from abroad in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. He further asserted that the spread of Covid-19 was caused by the tablighis returning from Nizamuddin in Delhi. His statements were widely publicized and given front page coverage by some local dailies.

'Violation' of migrant workers' human rights: Legal notice to IIM-A director, govt babus

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to the police action against protesting migrant workers off the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on May 18, senior Gujarat High Court advocate Anandvardhan Yagnik, in a legal notice to the IIM-A director "on their behalf" has said that the workers had only been seeking to to go back to their home states, Jharkhand and West Bengal, for the last more than 20 days because they were not paid their “earned wages because of the lockdown.”