Ahmed Patel files papers for Rajya Sabha, confident of victory

Ahmed Patel files papers for Rajya Sabha, confident of victory


Gandhinagar: Mr Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi today filed his nomination for the August 8 Rajya Sabha elections. Flanked by state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki and party national general secretary in-charge of Gujarat affairs Ashok Gehlot, Mr Patel submitted his papers at the state Assembly in presence of a majority of the 57 Congress MLAs and one each of the Nationalist Congress Party and Janata Dal (United). Mr Patel, 67, who hails from Bharuch in South Gujarat, first became a member of Upper House in 1993 and if he wins, this will be his fifth term. To win, Mr Patel requires 46 first preference votes. However, as many as 11 MLAs had cross-voted in the July 17 presidential polls in favour of NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind, giving rise to apprehensions that in the Rajya Sabha polls too they may not vote for the Congress nominee. Moreover, Leader of Opposition and senior party leader Shankersinh sVaghela, who is believed to have the backing of at least a dozen MLAs, too has resigne from the Congress. Though Vaghela quit as Leader of Opposition, he said he would resign as an MLA only after the Rajya Sabha polls. However, Mr Ashok Gehlot and Mr Bharatsinh Solanki allayed any fears of Mr Patel losing claiming that the party has support of two legislators of the NCP and one of Janata Dal (United). Mr Solanki said the party has issued a whip to all the party MLAs to vote for the official nominee Mr Patel and if any of them fails, he or she could invite disqualification for six years for defying the whip. Three Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat have fallen vacant. The term of two others, union minister Smriti Irani and Dilip Pandya of BJP, also ends on August 18 along with that of Patel. However, they are yet to file nominations. A decision regarding the BJP nominees is expected today evening at the party's election committee meeting. The last date for submitting nomination papers for the elections is July 28.

Share it
Top