Janata Dal (United) Co-founder Sharad Yadav on Wednesday congratulated Congress leader Ahmed Patel for retaining his Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat “in spite of the toughest hurdles”. His statement is believed to be a reference to claims that the Bharatiya Janata Party had put in all efforts to ensure his loss.

The Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar, who disagreed with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to ally with the BJP in the state, also posted a photograph of himself with Patel on Twitter.

JD(U) sacks its Gujarat unit general secretary

On Tuesday evening, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar sacked Arun Shrivastav, believed to be Yadav’s confidante, from the post of the general secretary of the JD(U)’s Gujarat unit. He was dismissed for allegedly writing to the returning officer of the Gujarat Assembly without authorisation and appointing an election agent for polling in the state, PTI reported.

Ahmed Patel won the election to the Rajya Sabha seat early on Wednesay after the Election Commission decided to disqualify the ballots of two Congress MLAs who cross-voted for the BJP. The EC made the decision after watching a video of the legislators that purportedly showed them revealing their votes to BJP National President Amit Shah.

Gujarat JD(U) MLA Chhotu Vasava, who claimed he voted for Patel, is being credited for the Congress leader’s victory. However, JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi had asserted that Nitish Kumar had asked the party’s Gujarat unit to vote for the BJP’s candidate Balwantsinh Rajput.