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Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls: Shankersinh Vaghela, seven other MLAs expelled from Congress for six years

A day after the Gujarat Rajya Sabha poll results went in the Congress' favour, the party has expelled eight MLAs including former chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela for six years for defying the party whip, spokesman Manish Doshi said on Thursday.

AICC's Gujarat in-charge Ashok Gehlot said he recommended the expulsion of the Congress legislators who had resigned as MLAs. On 21 July, Vaghela had announced his decision to quit Congress at a public gathering of his supporters.

File image of Shankarsinh Vaghela. PTI

File image of Shankarsinh Vaghela. PTI

Congress candidate Ahmed Patel clinched his fifth straight Rajya Sabha seat, in a bitterly fought election in Gujarat after late night dramatic developments saw the Election Commission reject votes of two dissident MLAs for violating electoral rules.

Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, beat Balwantsinh Rajput, who used to be the party's chief whip in the state Assembly before defecting to the BJP.

Patel polled 44 votes in the first Rajya Sabhi polls in Gujarat in two decades that actually saw a contest, instead of official candidates of major parties getting elected unopposed. Rajput got 38 votes.

BJP chief Amit Shah made his maiden entry into the Upper House, as did party nominee and Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, clinching 46 votes each, an EC official said.

"This is not just my victory. It is also a defeat of the most blatant use of money power, muscle power and abuse of state machinery," Patel, who secured a fifth Rajya Sabha term after the tough electoral fight, tweeted after his victory.

In July, Vaghela had shared his resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi with the media, saying the former chief minister alleged that he was forced to take this "tough decision" as some Congress leaders were conspiring against him ahead of the Assembly polls, expected to be held in Gujarat in December.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Aug 09, 2017 20:44 PM

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