AHMEDABAD: Rebel JD(U) MLA Chhotu Vasava today claimed that it was he and not the NCP MLA who had voted for Congress candidate Ahmed Patel in a tightly contested August 8 election to three Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat.
Earlier, NCP leader Praful Patel had claimed that one of his two MLAs voted for Congress nominee Patel in the poll.
Patel had won with 44 votes, with 43 votes coming from the MLAs from his own party, and the decisive vote cast by the JD(U) MLA, Congress sources had said.
Talking to reporters, Vasava said, "I had told Ahmed Bhai (Patel) when he submitted his nomination form that the NCP was not going to vote for him. (BJP) people do not like minorities and tribals, so there was no question of me voting for them."
"They (Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi) had hoped that I will vote for the BJP candidate. They tried to put pressure on me to vote for BJP...but I voted for Congress," he said.
Earlier also, Vasava had claimed that he had defied the party's whip to vote for Patel, while NCP's Praful Patel recently claimed that one of his two MLAs had voted for the Congress candidate--with the claim of only one likely to be correct given the numbers.
Patel, who is also the party in-charge for Gujarat, had maintained that Jayant Patel voted for Ahmed Patel, while another party MLA Kandhal Jadeja had defied the party whip and cross voted.
"The NCP was very much clear from the beginning that both of our MLAs will vote for Ahmed Patel, and the whip was issued accordingly.
"However, Jadeja defied the whip and gave his vote to BJP while Jayant Patel stuck to the party directive and cast his vote for Ahmed Patel," the former union minister had said