Congress crackdown on cross-voting MLAs; 8 expelled for 6 years
After Ahmed Patel's win, Congress has shown that there is no place for dissent in the party. It expelled 8 MLAs who cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha election for 6 years. These MLAs are: Shankarsinh Vaghela, his son Mahendrasinh, Raghavji Patel, Bhola Gohil, Dharmendra Jadeja, P K Raulji, Amit Chaudhary, Karan Patel.
Spelling trouble for Congress ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, 6 Congress MLAs had left the party. While Balwantsinh Rajput, Tejashree Patel, and PI Patel had quit earlier and joined the BJP, Mansinh Chauhan, Channabhai Chaudhary, and Ramsinh Parmar also joined them. Within hours of joining BJP, Balwantsinh was declared the saffron party's third Rajya Sabha candidate.
Helpless and exasperated with BJP poaching its MLAs in Gujarat, Congress decided to keep its flock away from the 'predators'. The Congress leadership shifted its MLAs to Bengaluru where they were supposed to stay put. Ahmed Patel's situation was precarious: he needed 47 votes to win and having lost 6 MLAs, 51 were supporting him. Hence, the Congress didn't want to take any chances.
In a dramatic election, violation of rules by two rebel Congress MLAs helped the opposition party save face in Gujarat. The chances of Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi's political secretary, were undeniably altered after former Congress chief whip in Gujarat assembly Balwantsinh Rajput defected to BJP. But with 44 votes, he managed to defeat Rajput who had just 38 votes.
In the close Rajya Sabha duel, it seems that one additional vote changed the result and that belonged to NCP's Jayant Patel 'Boskey'. He said: "We are a UPA partner and there was no question of voting for BJP".
Amit Shah may have won an RS seat himself, but this poll will haunt the otherwise undefeated master of political battles. While he converted what was an easy win for Patel into a nail biting contest, Patel still managed to win. Previously, Shah tasted defeat in Bihar and Delhi but those were blamed on local leadership; on his home turf this wasn't the case.