Gujarat RS polls exposed BJP's personal vendetta: Ahmed Patel

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Gandhinagar (Gujarat) [India], Aug 09 (ANI): After retaining his Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Wednesday alleged that the election exposed the "personal vendetta and political terror" of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "BJP stands exposed of personal vendetta and political terror. People of Gujarat will give them a befitting reply in this year's election," Patel tweeted. He also thanked the Congress leadership for giving him the opportunity to fight this election and also lauded the MLAs who voted in his favour. "I thank my party leadership for giving me this opportunity & all my party workers & colleagues whose relentless handwork made this possible. I want to thank each & every MLA who voted for me despite unprecedented intimidation & pressure from BJP. They voted for an inclusive India," Patel said in a series of tweets. Patel said that his victory in the Rajya Sabha polls was a defeat of the most blatant use of money power, muscle power and abuse of state machinery. "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," he said in a tweet. He said that the Congress party has emerged stronger after winning the Rajya Sabha polls . "Under Rahul Gandhi's leadership Congress will be strengthened and we will win elections. It was a tough election, everyone worked together, party emerged stronger out of it," Patel told reporters after winning the polls. Voting for the three Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat was conducted on Tuesday. BJP national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani were other two candidates. Ahmed Patel's win is being considered a major victory for the Congress and a blow for the BJP. 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 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 the two MLAs showed their votes to unauthorized persons and demanded that their votes should not be counted. Congress said these MLAs showed their votes to the BJP national president and the Broadcasting Minister and Balwantsinh instead of representative of Patel. Congress suffered a 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. Patel's victory has acted as booster for the Congress ahead of the crucial assembly elections in the state. (ANI)