Congress filed complaint of cross-voting with Returning Officer: Ahmed Patel

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BJP chief Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani are all set to be elected to the Rajya Sabha, but it has become a high-stake battle for Congress party's Ahmed Patel, thanks to infighting and resignations.

The senior leader of Gujarat Congress, Vaghela had allegedly quit after the party decided of not projecting him as a chief ministerial candidate. The Congress strength in the Gujarat Assembly now stands at 44 from 51 with the departure of Vaghela and the other six MLAs.

In 2010, a senior former Cabinet Minister, who met the Congress president and expressed certain grievances against Patel, was shocked when he received a call from him on his cell phone, minutes after he left 10 Janpath, and much before he made it to his vehicle.

However, Ahmed Patel is sure that he has enough support to win the upcoming elections with a major fraction belonging to the JD (U) and NCP.

Forty four Congress MLAs from Gujarat, who were flown to Bengaluru on July 29, returned to Gujarat on Monday.

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.

In a significant development, the Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday sacked Gujarat General Secretary Arun Srivastava for alleged anti-party activities. Of these, Gohil and Patel apparently voted for BJP.

In an attempt to prevent cross-voting, Congress has issued a whip to its MLAs saying that cross-voting would result in disqualification from the party for six years.

The stay of the of lawmakers was also marked by Income Tax raids on wealthy Karnataka Minister D Shivakumar, who had been tasked with arranging lodging for them.

However, BJP leader Bhupendra Singh said that his party will win all three seats for which elections will be held today.

"We met EC and pointed out violation of election rule as ballot papers of 2 MLAs were seen by other than the authorised person", said P Chidambaram.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday stated that the brouhaha, which the Congress Party is creating around the Rajya Polls in Gujarat, is "unwarranted" and bogus.

The Congress is also fighting against the None Of The Above (NOTA) provision in the polls apprehending turncoats in its own fold.

The BJP did not have the numbers to win a third Rajya Sabha seat from the State, so it engineered defections in Congress ranks, said Patel. The MLAs are expected to be shifted into Neejanand Resort in Gujarat till the Rajya Sabha elections conclude.

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