New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and party president Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel on Monday took oath as a Rajya Sabha member.
He was elected to the upper House from Gujarat earlier in August.
Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu administered the oath of office to Patel in his chamber in the presence of Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and several others.
This is Patel's fifth Rajya Sabha term.
Patel won a bitterly fought election on 9 August, by defeating his rival Bharatiya Janata Party's Balwantsinh Rajput, a Congress defector.
Congress veteran Ahmed Patel earlier admitted he learnt "bitter lessons" in his Rajya Sabha election when a battery of legislators openly tried to sabotage his winning prospects but asserted it ended up helping the party separate the wheat from the chaff.
"It was the toughest electoral battle of my career. I have fought five Lok Sabha elections and four Rajya Sabha, but this was the toughest," the 67-year-old Patel admitted.
"We learnt bitter lessons but we have emerged stronger. This entire episode (of sabotage) has automatically led to purging of people whom we could not trust. We know who is ours and who is not, and who was never," said the Congress leader, who won his fifth term after two votes against him by rebel MLAs got invalidated.
Six Congress MLAs resigned in the run-up to the Rajya Sabha election on 8 August, and eight others, including rebel leader Shankersinh Vaghela, openly cross-voted against the party's official nominee Patel in an election which turned into a battleground with four candidates in the fray for three seats.
Published Date: Aug 28, 2017 04:12 pm | Updated Date: Aug 28, 2017 04:14 pm