Gandhinagar: Congress leader Ahmed Patel snatched a late night victory in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections after the Election Commission rejected the votes of two Congress rebel Legislators.
Patel, the powerful Political Secretary of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, won by the skin of his teeth.
He needed 44 votes to win and he got 44, returning to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat for a fifth term in a bitterly fought election that became a massive prestige battle between the Congress and the BJP.
The other two seats have been won easily by BJP Chief Amit Shah, who makes his debut in Parliament, and Union Minister Smriti Irani.
Amit Shah and Smriti Irani got 46 votes each. “Satyameva Jayate (the truth shall prevail),” Ahmed Patel tweeted a little before 2 am, announcing his win.
Hours before, the Congress had taken the Gujarat battle to Delhi, petitioning the Election Commission to disqualify the votes of two party MLAs who showed their ballot papers to the BJP’s representatives. After watching a video of the vote and several hours of deliberation, the poll panel said they had violated secrecy.
Ahmed Patel’s win was the best news the Congress has had in a long while and party workers engaged in frenzied celebration in Gandhinagar.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi told reporters: “Thank God for the Election Commission.” “I am happy and relieved with his victory,” Gandhi said, admitting that there was “so much tension.”