India

Both BJP, Cong claim victory ahead of RS polls in Gujarat

Gandhinagar, June 17 (IANS) With just a day to go for the crucial Rajya Sabha elections for 4 seats in Gujarat on June 19, both the ruling BJP and opposition Congress party on Wednesday, claimed victory of their candidates, despite equations suggesting otherwise. The BJP has fielded three candidates while the Congress has fielded two candidates for the 4 Rajya Sabha seats in the state.

The Covid-19 situation has forced the Election Commission to reschedule the date of the elections, which was earlier scheduled on March 26.

There aren't enough votes of MLAs for both the parties, if the third BJP candidate or the second Congress candidate has to win. Despite that both the parties on Wednesday, claimed victory.

The BJP has fielded Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin while the Congress has nominated Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki.

In the 182-member state assembly, the BJP has 103 seats while the opposition Congress has only 65, with eight of its MLAs resigning during the last 3-4 months. Prior to the earlier scheduled poll date of March 26, five Congress MLAs had resigned, while 3 of the party's legislators resigned in the first week of June.

Looking at the current strength, the BJP has enough votes to win two seats and Congress one seat, as according to the new situation, each Rajya Sabha candidate needs 35 votes. The BJP is short of two votes which it is banking on getting it from the Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which is 2 and 1 seats in the state assembly respectively.

While the Congress is 4 votes short, even if a vote from the lone independent MLA Jignesh Mevani is counted in its favour.

“Whether it's the BJP or the Congress in Gujarat, there is no need to fear as the Rajya Sabha elections will be held in free and fair manner and Congress friends need not fear. With full confidence we are saying that BJP will win all the three seats and we don't need any votes from others,” said Pradeepsinh Jadeja, the minister of state for home.

“Anything can happen… Last time BJP stalwart like R.C. Faldu had goofed up during the Rajya Sabha elections. So such errors can happen anytime. We have planned our strategy for the elections and we are confident that both of our candidates will win,” said Amit Chavda, the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president.

A meeting was held at the Uma Samaj Bhavan, at Umiya temple in Gandhinagar for the BJP MLAs, chaired by the Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to plan and train its MLAs for the Rajya Sabha elections.

Both the parties very well know that every single vote matters and the BJP knows it and to prevent any goof-up the MLAs were trained on how to vote for the first preference, the second preference and third preference.

Similarly, the Congress too a held similar meeting at the Hotel Umed in Ahmedabad on Wednesday afternoon, where most of its MLAs have been holed up, with the Congress fearing horse trading by the BJP. As a matter of precaution all the MLAs were instructed to switch off their phones for the next two days till the elections were held.

Here too, training sessions were held for the MLAs, on how to vote for their candidates on June 19. The Congress has, on top of Rajiv Satav, who is the in-charge for Gujarat, has appointed two more in-charges — B.K Hariprasad and Rajni Tai Patil who will be arriving at the hotel on Wednesday night.

–IANS

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