Senior NCP leader Praful Patel said on Sunday that they are yet to decide as to who they will be supporting in the August 8 Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat. Gujarat has three seats to decide for rhe Rajya Sabha in the upcoming elections.
While BJP chief Amit Shah and union minister Smriti Irani are already placed to easily win two of these three seats, Ahmed Patel, who has served for four terms in the Rajya Sabha already, is getting pushed even further away from the third and the last seat.
The Sharad Pawar-led party, which had a pre-poll alliance with the Congress for the 2012 Assembly polls in the state, currently has two MLAs: Kandhal Jadeja and Jayant Patel.
The election has become interesting since the exit of Congress strongman Shankersinh Vaghela and the resignation of six MLAs of the party in the last few days, bringing down its tally in the 182-member House from 57 to 51. Three of these MLAs later joined the BJP, which has fielded one of them in the RS polls.
Praful Patel said, “Though the NCP was part of the previous Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, there is no such alliance at present. Though we are a small party with only two MLAs, we have suddenly become important and people are now searching for these two legislators.”
He added that the decision about supporting any party in the Rajya Sabha polls would be taken in consultation with Pawar.
The three MLAs who quit promptly, will not be eligible to vote in the Rajya Sabha elections tomorrow. Their deletion from Congress’ roll threatens the election of Ahmed Patel.
To get re-elected, Ahmed Patel needs 45 votes on basis of the current strength of the assembly. On paper, the Congress is down to 51 seats but some of them loyal to Mr Vaghela are likely to abstain or vote for his opponent.