Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls on Tuesday witnessed chaos and high drama before the counting process as the lone JD(U) MLA from the state, Chhotu Vasava, said he has voted for Congress’ nominee Ahmed Patel even as his party claimed he has voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as advised.
Vasava, who represents the Jhagadia assembly seat in Bharuch district, said he has voted for Patel in the high-stakes election, alleging that the ruling BJP has done little for tribal people and the poor. “BJP has ruled the state for 22 years but has ignored the state’s tribal areas, which remain undeveloped as the government has done nothing for the poor and tribal population,” the legislator from the Scheduled Tribe reserved seat told news agency PTI.
Vasava also stated that the decision to vote for the Congress nominee was solely his own and not that of the party which he represents. “Nitish Kumar (Bihar chief minister and JD(U) president) did not contact me over voting, and there was nothing like a whip issued by the party in this regard. The decision to vote for Patel was my own,” he said.
Interestingly, JD(U) national spokesperson said that the party president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had asked their Gujarat MLA to vote for BJP and that the legislator has voted for the saffron party.
Gujarat is witnessing a contest in the polls for the Upper House after a gap of about two decades as four candidates are contesting for three seats> Two of these are held by the BJP, which is keen to dislodge the Congress from the third. BJP President Amit Shah, Union Minister Smriti Irani and Congress defector Balwantsinh Rajput are in the fray for the saffron party, while the Congress has fielded Ahmed Patel, who is seeking a fifth term in the Upper House.
With inputs from PTI, ANI