The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday won both Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat with thumping majority. In spite of Congress trying to create hurdles by going to Supreme Court, both External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Jugal Thakor were declared winners in Rajya Sabha by-polls for two seats in Gujarat.
The bye-election was held as the two Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant after BJP leaders Amit Shah and Smriti Irani, who were elected to Lok Sabha, resigned from the upper House.
Two Gujarat Congress legislators, Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala, resigned from the State Assembly, after voting against the Congress candidates, defying the party whip.
The BJP candidates also got additional votes of lone NCP MLA Kandhal Jadeja and two Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) legislators Chhotubhai Vasava and his son Mahesh Vasava. Vasava’s vote was crucial for Congress veteran Ahmed Patel’s victory in 2017 when Mr. Patel could barely win after a dozen legislators had split from the Congress.
Earlier, the Congress’ legislature party leader Paresh Dhanani had approached the Supreme Court challenging the Election Commission of India’s move to hold bye-elections for two seats separately instead of holding together. The Supreme Court, however, refused to interfere in the poll process and directed the petitioner to approach the Gujarat High Court with election petition challenging the election