Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls live updates: The BJP has nominated party president Amit Shah, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani and Congress turncoat Balwantsinh Rajput for the three seats. On its part, the Congress wants to see Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Sonia Gandhi, get re-elected from Gujarat.
For the first time in over two decades, there’s a contest for the Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat. This time, three Rajya Sabha seats are on offer. Since the BJP has 120 MLAs in the 182-member Assembly, it can easily win two of the three seats hands-down without a contest. The Congress, down from 57 legislators to 51 after six of its MLAs resigned from the party and the Assembly, is fighting to win the third seat. A candidate needs 45 votes to win.
Now, for the candidates. The BJP has nominated its party president Amit Shah and Textiles Minister Smiriti Irani,both of whom are expected to win without a contest. For the third seat,it has pitched former Congress leader and chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput. The Congress, on its part, is seeking to get Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Sonia Gandhi, elected for the fifth time from the state.The contest is too close to call as there is a great amount of dissension within the Congress. With some of its MLAs cross-voting in the presidential elections last month, there is a fear within the party that it could be repeated. There is also no clarity on how the two NCP MLAs and the lone JD(U) legislator would vote either