The Congress has again sent a team, which includes P. Chidambaram, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Ashok Gehlot to the Election Commission to counter the BJP argument. Anyway, Rajya Sabha elections do not affect state politics for the seats are often decided in advance. He had to somehow wean away one among the four NCP, JDU and GPP MLAs to break BJP's advantage just hours before polling.
It was a do-or-die battle for Patel.
A series of questionable IT raids followed at the Bengaluru resort where the 44 Congress MLAs were staying and at the residential and office premises of their host and Karnataka cabinet minister DK Shivakumar.
Reacting on the EC ruling Gujarat Congress President Bharatsinh Solanki indirectly accused BJP president Amit Shah for what happened during the voting Tuesday morning. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani are other two candidates who also won. This would have hastened the rush of fence-sitters into the BJP all over the country. The Congress demonstrated its old deft touch in raising a procedural issue, which could not be ignored by the EC.
"The party did not take action when cross-voting took place in the presidential polls. Our next target is to win the 2017 elections'" Patel said. Even though the Sanand MLA assured Patel about his support, the wily Congressman knew something was amiss and immediately went into damage control mode. Just after Vaghela quit the party 6 more of its lawmakers also resigned out of which 3 joined BJP. "Ahmedbhai will play a crucial role (in the assembly polls)", said state President Bharatsinh Solanki. At one point, it was believed that the Congress without Vaghela would be wiped out in Gujarat.
The Congress veteran said party members were energized after he won his Rajya Sabha seat, adding "we will fight the assembly elections with all aggression and ensure their defeat 100 percent".
Modi said that Amit Shah had brought back the culture of hard work known in the Jan Sangh days. His "defeat" may make some people in the BJP happy.
Patel's victory in Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections, ahead of state elections in December, should instil some confidence in the Congress, which has been out of power in the state for more than two decades now. To that extent it will contain Rahul Gandhi.
It is very much likely that the Rajya Sabha drama may continue tomorrow with Patel having left for his hotel in Ahmedabad as the battle continues in the Election Commission.