Ahmed Patel's victory, an eye opener for BJP: Surjewala on RS polls

| Updated: Aug 09, 2017 11:11 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug. 9 (ANI): The Congress on Wednesday branded Ahmed Patel's victory in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha election as "an eye opener" for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) . Speaking to ANI here, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said, "It is not a victory of congress party alone or of our senior leader Mr Ahmed Patel. It is a victory of truth.It is a defeat of forces which wanted to misuse muscle and money power. It is an eye opener for BJP." Surjewala further asserted that truth again won in the land of Mahatma Gandhi as the BJP's were "proved hollow." Averring that Ahmed Patel's victory in the Rajya Sabha is a hard-won battle, Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury said that the BJP did their best to ruin the democracy but it failed. Chowdhury said, "They (BJP) did their best to ruin the democratic practices, finally democracy won. Ahmed Patel won with the blessing of the people." Expressing happiness over her party's victory, she congratulated Patel. Another Congress Leader P.L. Punia dubbed Ahmed Patel's victory in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha Elections as a win of democratic values. "BJP tried every bit to defeat Ahmed Patel but failed to do so," Punia told ANI. Patel has retained his Rajya Sabha seat, winning 44 votes. BJP President Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani also emerged victorious in the election. Shah will enter the Parliament as a member for the first time, while Irani will return for a second term. Voting for the three Rajya Sabha seats was conducted on Tuesday. Ahmed Patel's win is being considered a major victory for the Congress and a blow for the BJP. "This is not just my victory. It is a defeat of the most blatant use of money power,muscle power and abuse of state machinery," Patel tweeted. Congress had made candidature of Ahmed Patel as a matter of prestige. The BJP also left no stone unturned to win all the three seats. The saffron pitted Balwantsinh Rajput, a recent acquisition from the Congress, against Ahmed Patel knowing that Patel's defeat will bring huge embarrassment for Sonia Gandhi since he is her political secretary. After the intense political developments, the Election Commission (EC) declared results for the three seats of the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. Total 176 MLAs voted in the crucial elections, but two votes were declared invalid. The EC on late Tuesday night declared votes of two Congress MLAs- Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel- invalid. The decision was taken on a complaint of the Congress. Earlier in the evening, Congress had complained to the EC and said that two of its MLAs- Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel- showed their votes to unauthorized persons and demanded their votes should not be counted and should be rejected. Congress said these MLAs showed their votes to Shah and Irani and independent candidate Balwantsinh Rajput instead of representative of Ahmed Patel. Earlier, the constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap on Tuesday branded that the Congress' demand to invalidate votes of two of its rebels over cross-voting as 'political drama'. Subhash Kashyap asserted that if there was any objection, the Congress should have raised it during polling. Speaking to ANI here, he said, "It is not legal issue but a political drama. If there was objection, should have been raised during polling." Ahmed Patel, the influential political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and Shah, Irani and ex-grand old party cadre Balwantsinh Rajput were in the fray. Congress suffered major blow ahead of the RS polls when six of its Gujarat MLAs joined BJP. Panicked Congress sent its 44 MLAs to Bengaluru and termed the move as a bid to save its legislatures from the horse-trading by the BJP. The Congress also accused BJP of offering Rs 15 crore to its MLAs to join BJP. The political environment was also heated when the Income Tax Department on July 29 raided Karnataka Energy Minister DK Shivakumar's Bengaluru residence and resort, where Congress' 44 MLAs were staying. After the Congress branded the raids as a 'political witch-hunt' by the BJP, the IT department asserted that the raids at Karnataka Energy Minister's residence and resort had nothing to do with the Gujarat's Congress MLAs staying at the resort. The Congress also created ruckus in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha over the IT raids at the resort. Ahmed Patel's victory has acted as booster for the Congress ahead of the crucial assembly elections in the state. (ANI)

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