GANDHINAGAR: Amid jolts of cross voting in the ongoing Rajya Sabha Assembly polls in Gujarat, the Congress Party assured that whoever betrayed the party will form a part of tainted history, adding that the grand old party is sure to emerge victorious.
“We are in need of only one vote, and we are 44 MLAs. Those who have betrayed the party will be dealt with after 5pm today, when the Congress’ victory will be confirmed. Our party members were in tears when certain leaders backed out at the time of need. We will not let these tears go unheard. We have voted for Ahmed Patel,” Congress leader Gyasuddin Shaikh told ANI here, while dismissing reports of an alleged cross-voting to have taken place.
Commenting on the MLAs’ recent visit to Bengaluru, Shaikh termed it to be a trip that was taken ‘out of necessity’, to safeguard the MLAs.
“When our party Vice President can get attacked, we are just MLAs. How can we be sure of our safety? We did not want to go, but we had to,” said Shaikh.
Backing his stance, Congress leader Paresh Danani added that the visit was necessary to ‘safeguard the democracy’.
In a jolt to the Congress, two party leaders admitted that they have voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The two Congress leaders Raghavji Patel and Dharmendra Jadeja voted for BJP's Balwantsinh Rajput.
"I have voted for Balwantsinh Rajput. I want to stay in politics but not in Congress. There are only two parties in Gujarat - Congress and BJP. If I'm not with Congress, this is understood where will I be," Raghavji Patel said making his intentions clear.
The other Congress leader Jadeja said that he voted for BJP as Congress was not paying heed to them.
"Congress hadn't been listening to us for a year. We have voted for Balwantsinh Rajput," Jadeja said.
Adding to Ahmed Patel's misery, former grand old party leader Shankersinh Vaghela said that he did not cast his vote for the Congress candidate.
"When we know that Congress will not win then there is no point of voting in favour of them. I didn't cast my vote for Ahmed Patel," Vaghela said.
The ongoing voting for the crucial Rajya Sabha elections on three seats is slated to end at 4p.m. today, following which the counting will be held from 5 p.m.
Gujarat Assembly Secretary D M Patel, who is also the returning officer for the Rajya Sabha election said that after the resignation of six Congress MLAs, there are total 176 MLAs eligible to vote.
The election has been necessitated following the completion of the tenures of three existing members union minister Smriti Irani and Dilip Pandya of BJP and Ahmed Patel of Congress.
Meanwhile, the win of two of the three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates, party president Amit Shah and Smriti Irani, was almost certain, while the fate of the third party candidate Balwantsinh Rajput who joined the BJP after resigning from Congress was hanging in balance along with the sole Congress candidate Ahmed Patel.
Congress needs the support of 45 MLAs for the victory of Patel who is contesting for his fifth term for the upper house.
In 182 member assembly, BJP has 122 seats including dissident Nalin Kotadiya.
While Congress has 51 MLAs along with seven of Shankarinh Vaghela's camp, NCP has two and JDU has one MLA in the house.
So far, 61 BJP MLAs and 43 Congress MLAs have cast their votes.