Rajya Sabha elections: Touch and go for Congress's Ahmed Patel

BJP echoed the Congress view and urged EC to remove NOTA provision

A strong tribal leader of South Gujarat, Vasava said: "Mainey desh ke liye vote diya hain (I have voted for the country)". He is seeking re-election for the fifth term in the Rajya Sabha.

The BJP's two other candidates, party president Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani are nearly certain to win.

Patel contested against BJP's Balwantsinh Rajput.

According to reports, they were taken to the Neejanand Resort in Gujarat's Anand district, located 77 km from Ahmedabad, ahead of the election for three seats.

As for himself, he told reporters: "I have not voted for the Congress because Ahmed Patel is not going to win and there is no point wasting a vote".

Even if none of them cross-votes or uses None of the Above (NOTA) option, the Congress will require one additional vote to ensure Patel's victory.

There are 176 MLAs in Gujarat who cast their votes.

"There are only two parties in Gujarat - Congress and BJP".

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Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel after casting his vote for Rajya Sabha poll on Tuesday. While for the third seat BJP will need cross voting to win. Before voting began, Congress had a clear support of 44 MLAs.

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. After his departure, as many as six Congress MLAs close to him defected, three of which joined the BJP.

After the meeting, Chidambarm told reporters,"If the BJP is so confident of winning the election then it must abide by the law".

While Amit Shah and Smriti Irani are set to emerge victorious in these elections, Ahmed Patel's fate has been hanging in balance after internal bickering in the Congress that led to the resignation of Shankatsinh Vaghela and six other Congress MLAs. NCP had a pre-poll alliance with the Congress during the 2012 assembly elections and managed to elect two legislators - Kandhal Jadeja and Jayant Patel.

The BJP had also written to the poll panel citing a 2013 verdict of the SC wherein it was mentioned that NOTA can be applied in the Lok Sabha polls but not in the elections to the Rajya Sabha.

Counting in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls was delayed on Tuesday after the Congress complained to the Election Commission that two of its MLAs had shown their ballot papers publicly, which was against election rules.

Asked about cross-voting by Vaghela and his supporters, he shrugged: "So what (we never counted them)". "He had first completed the remaining term of Rajnath Singh and afterwards he was elected into his first term as the president of the party past year. I don't want to expose it".

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