In a much animated set of events which ran upto 2 am this morning, finally Congress had its say.
The results of Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat were expected to be released at around 6 pm yesterday. Various leaders came upfront and openly told media that they have ditched Congress. But this time Congress was keeping a watch on the flow of events.
When Congress came to know that two of its MLAs voted for BJP it started discovering ways to discard their votes. And the MLAs gave an easy go to Congress as they allegedly violated Article 39AA under the Conduct of Elections Rules 1961 which stated that members of a party can show their vote to only authorized person and not to any other unauthorized person. The Congress MLAs showed their votes to Amit Shah.
Congress took this issue first to the Returning Officer assigned by the Election Commission who, upon inspecting the video, rejected Congress’ claim. Dissatisfied Congress decided to go EC. BJP tip-toed Congress and also went to EC.
While Congress’ claim was that the Returning Officer did not do a fair inspection, the BJP asserted that EC has no rights in the issue as the Returning Officer has already issued his decision and also since votes were given through open ballot, so it makes no sense for one to hide one’s vote. While Congress reminded EC of its similar decision to declare two votes invalid during elections in Haryana. P. Chidambram said, “How can law change in a year, the votes should be declared invalid”.
EC, after having 3 rounds of meetings with both BJP and Congress and a half hour closed door meeting, decided to overrule the Returning Officer’s decision and declared that the votes of Congress MLAs stood invalid and ordered the Returning Officer to carry out counting after removing the invalid votes from the pool.
And then what happened brought good news for Congress and a setback to the Chanakyas of BJP. Ahmed Patel won a hard fought battle.
BJP fired all of its guns as Finance Minister, Energy Minister, Coal and Petroleum Minister all went to EC to discuss the issue. Meanwhile what was more of a shocker was one of its MLA voting for Congress. BJP MLA Nalin Kotadiya said that he was dissatisfied with what BJP has done to the Patidars in Gujarat.