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Congress President Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel won a precarious victory in the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat when he won by 44 votes, to which NCP leader said that the Congress won due to 1 vote by NCP.
"Congress should remember Ahmed Patel won because of 1 vote of NCP, otherwise it would have been very embarrassing for them," NCP leader Majid Memon said.
For the three seats, BJP had contested national president Amit Shah, Union Minister Smriti Irani and Congress defector Balwantsinh Rajput. While Shah and Irani got 46 and 45 votes respectively, Ahmed Patel made a comeback against Rajput to secure his fifth term in Parliament.
The Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections held high stakes for both parties as the results would likely impact the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
The Gujarat Congress faced setbacks after Shankarsinh Vaghela resigned from the party, setting off a trend of defections leading to six other MLAs resigning from the Congress, out of which 3 subsequently joined BJP.
The first setback for the BJP came after the poll panel upheld the Congress complaint seeking rejection of the two votes by Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghavji Bhai Patel, both loyalists of Shankarsinh Vaghela, who had shown their ballots to Shah and Irani against Conduct of Election Rules.
The Commission rejected the arguments of a high-powered BJP delegation led by Arun Jaitley that the Commission had no power to intervene in the matter as returning officer is the statutory authority to decide the validity or otherwise of ballot paper.