After stinging defeat, BJP MLA Balwantsinh Rajput challenges Ahmed Patel's victory in Gujarat HC

Following his loss to Congress' Ahmed Patel in the recently concluded Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat, BJP MLA Balwantsinh Rajput moved the Gujarat High Court on Friday to challenge the result, according to media reports.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Rajput, who recently defected to BJP from Congress, challenged the Election Commission's (EC) move to invalidate two votes in the Rajya Sabha election, reported Times Now. Ahmed Patel had defeated Rajput by winning 44 votes after the EC invalidated two Congress votes — Raghavji Patel and Bhola Gohil — after Congress claimed the two MLAs, belonging to the Shankersinh Vaghela group, had shown their ballots to the party's authorised agent as well as to the BJP's agent.

In his petition to the Gujarat High Court, Rajput alleged that the Congress party had indulged in corrupt practices by flying 44 of its MLAs from Gujarat to Bengaluru and promising them monetary compensation, according to NDTV. The petition will be heard by the court on Monday (21 August).

While BJP won two of the three Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat with Amit Shah and Smriti Irani's win, Patel's victory, who is senior adviser to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, seems to have stung the BJP quite hard. Patel contested for the fifth term in Rajya Sabha.

Before resigning from the Congress, Balwantsinh Rajput was the party whip. He was one of the 14 rebel Congress legislators to quit the party before the Rajya Sabha polls. He got 38 votes in the election, while Ahmed Patel of Congress won with 44 votes.

After six of the 14 Congress rebels resigned as legislators, the effective strength of votes in the 182-seat Gujarat Assembly was reduced to 176. The Rajya Sabha candidates needed 44 first preference votes to win.

Ahmed Patel won 43 votes of the Congress legislators who had been herded to a Bengaluru resort to prevent "poaching", and that of a JD(U) legislator.

With inputs from IANS

Updated Date: Aug 18, 2017 16:04 PM

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