BJP leader and former minister Shankar Chaudhary, who was the polling agent of BJP candidate Balwantsinh Rajput during the 2017 Rajya Sabha election, on Tuesday told the Gujarat High Court that there was no breach of conduct or violation of procedure by then rebel Congress MLAs Raghavji Patel and Bholabhai Gohil when casting their votes.
Then Congress MLA, Patel and Gohil had voted for the BJP candidate against the party’s whip. However, their votes were rejected by the Election Commission as they had disclosed it to the BJP. This had led to Congress candidate Ahmed Patel winning the Rajya Sabha seat.
Chaudhary, who was cross-examined on Tuesday in the ongoing trial in Rajput’s petition challenging the election of Ahmed Patel to Rajya Sabha in 2017, said that at the time of polling “Congress authorised agent, Shaktisinh Gohil, tried to snatch the ballot paper from BJP leader Raghavji Patel”.
In an affidavit submitted to the court of Justice Bela Trivedi, Chaudhary alleged that Congress MLAs, Shailesh Parmar and Mitesh Garasiya, disclosed their votes to the Congress agent. The case has been adjourned to Wednesday when BJP Gujarat unit president Jitu Vaghani is scheduled to be examined.