The race for Rajya Sabha seats has come to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat. On Friday, Congress and BJP will lock horns to secure as many seats of Rajya Sabha as possible. 4 Rajya Sabha seats are up for grabs. This should have been a regular affair but as 5 candidates are contesting for 4 seats. Things have become interesting.
The number crunch:
As we know, MLAs in Gujarat Legislative Assembly will cast their vote to elect Rajya Sabha members. 182-member Gujarat Assembly has 172 MLAs currently.
BJP has 103 MLAs while Congress has 65. Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) has 2 MLAs, Nationalist Congress Party has 1 and 1 independent MLA (Jignesh Mevani)
To elect one candidate to Rajya Sabha, 35 votes are needed. As the numbers stand right now, BJP should be comfortably able to elect two candidates while Congress should be able to elect one. However, there are five people in the ring.
BJP has fielded Abhay Bhardwaj and Ramilaben Bara. Bhardwaj is a lawyer while Bara is a tribal face and an ex-MLA.
Congress has fielded its spokesperson Shakti Singh Gohil and former union minister Bharat Solanki. Congress is pushing Gohil as a candidate of first-preference.
BJP made things interesting as it fielded ex-Congressman Narhari Amin who has been Deputy Chief Minister of the state. Any cross-voting from Congress’ camp is bound to hurt the party’s chances.
Congress on the backfoot:
State Congress unit was shaken to the core as its MLAs resigned from their posts. Congress has 65 MLAs in its kitty now and they have been kept in various resorts to keep them from defecting.
Another development that took place on Thursday gave a blow to Congress. NCP MLA Kandhal Jadeja attended a meeting organised by BJP.
How will BJP fare?
Road for BJP isn’t all clear as far its game plan is concerned. BJP claims that it has the support of Bharatiya Tribal Party. But it was BTP who ensured Congress MP Ahmed Patel’s victory a few years ago.
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