The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to grant Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s request to dismiss a petition challenging his election to the Rajya Sabha in 2017, PTI reported. Patel’s election has been challenged in the Gujarat High Court by his Bharatiya Janata Party rival Balwantsinh Rajput.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul refused to stay the judgement of the High Court, which had ordered a trial on October 26. “Let the trial go on,” the top court said. In September, the Supreme Court had directed the Gujarat High Court to decide afresh Patel’s petition challenging Rajput’s plea.
Patel – who is a close aide of United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi – moved the Supreme Court in July. Rajput, a former Congress chief whip, had joined the saffron party weeks before the elections to the Upper House.
Two Congress MLAs – Raghavji Patel and Bhola Gohil – cross-voted for the BJP during the elections but their ballots were declared invalid by the Election Commission, giving Patel just enough votes to win.