Ahmed scrounges for every vote to save Rajya Sabha seat

BJP says remove NOTA EC says it's effective since 2014

Ahmed scrounges for every vote to save Rajya Sabha seat

However, Ahmed Patel has got one vote each from both NCP and JD (U).

Asked about speculation that he had been offered the post of Governor by the BJP, Vaghela said there were no talks between him and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

He said election officers in the state rejected objections raised by the Congress and believe the Election Commission of India in Delhi will also do the same.

Recently, 44 Congress MLAs were shifted to Bengaluru amid accusations that the saffron party is "intimidating and torturing" Congress MLAs and their families.

The 182-member Gujarat legislative assembly has 176 MLAs and each of the contenders need to score one-fourth of the total membership plus one vote, which makes it 45, to win.

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Forty four Congress MLAs from Gujarat, who were flown to Bengaluru on July 29, returned to Gujarat on Monday.

The Congress is also fighting against the None Of The Above (NOTA) provision in the polls apprehending turncoats in its own fold.

"There is no question of any offer", he said and added that BJP leaders were not in touch with him. BJP leaders said that the Congress party is unnecessarily creating an issue since it has lost its confidence in getting its top leader Ahmed Patel re-elected to the Rajya Sabha. However, according to reports, Congress MLA from Sanand Karamsi Patel triggered more trouble for Ahmed Patel as he indulged in cross-voting, giving his mandate to BJP candidate Balwantsinh Rajput.

Patel, who is literally living on the edge, as far as this poll is concerned, has probably emptied out all the aces up his sleeve. The veteran has been a close confidant of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for years but lying low for a while.

The Opposition party has accused the BJP government at the Centre of misusing central agencies to hound Congress MLAs from Gujarat and Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar, who hosted them at a resort near Bengaluru.

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#If in case Ahmed Patel losses his seat to RS it will be a major blow to Congress as he is a loyalist to party chief Sonia Gandhi. "Thus, I have not given my vote to Ahmed Patel", he said. The Congress had 57 MLAs in the Assembly two weeks ago.

The BJP has 122 seats including that of dissident Nalin Kotadiya.

Notably, the NCP and the JD (U) MLAs had accompanied Patel when he filed his nomination.

Vaghela spoke to the media on a host of issues, ranging from the Gujarat Congress' decision to move 44 of its MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru to prevent any "poaching" attempts by the BJP, his stand on NOTA and the recent attack on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's auto at Dhanera in Banaskantha. "But the Rajya Sabha election is an example of political game now", Patel told media here.

Apart from BJP's National President Amit Shah and Union Minister for Textile and Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani, BJP has fielded former Chief Whip of Congress Balwantsinh Rajput as its third candidate. He was apparently referring to the Rajya Sabha election in Haryana in which BJP-backed independent candidate Subhash Chandra had defeated Congress-supported candidate R K Anand after votes of several MLAs were declared invalid.

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