BJP president Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and former Gujarat Congress chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput, who joined the saffron party on Thursday, filed their nominations for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections on Friday. They were accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, former chief minister Anandiben Patel and state BJP chief Jitu Vaghani, along with a number of party leaders. Elections to the three Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat are scheduled on August 8. Opposition Congress has fielded its senior leader Ahmed Patel for one of the seats. The elections to the Upper House have created a lot of curiosity after six Congress MLAs resigned from the Gujarat Assembly and at least three of them joined BJP.
The Congress has been riddled with rebellion from within since the presidential election, when at least eight of its MLAs cross-voted in favour of NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind, now the President. After filing their nominations, the three candidates appeared for a photo-op before the media. BJP state in-charge Bhupendra Yadav addressed the media and expressed confidence that all the three would win the elections. When asked, why the BJP was confident of winning all the three seats when it does not have the required number, Yadav said, “We have sought cooperation of all who want positive development.”
On the Congress’s allegation that the BJP was luring their MLAs by indulging in “horsetrading”, Yadav said, “That word (horsetrading) is of the Congress. In our dictionary, there is no such word.”