The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday won both Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat, bye-polls for which were held the same day, The Hindu reported. The seats had fallen vacant after BJP chief Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani were elected to the Lok Sabha.
The winners on Friday were Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and Jugal Thakore, announced Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, according to PTI. “Both of our candidates have won the election with a thumping majority,” Rupani said. “The Congress tried to create hurdles in the elections and went up to the Supreme Court, but it failed.”
An Election Commission official said the two BJP leaders secured more than the required number of votes. “However, as per the procedure, the EC in Delhi can make the final announcement only after receiving the report from the returning officer,” he added.
Apart from the votes of 100 BJP MLAs, the two leaders also got the votes of one Nationalist Congress Party MLA, two Bhartiya Tribal Party legislators and two rebel Congress MLAs – Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala. Thakor and Zala resigned as MLAs immediately after casting their ballots.
Thakor, who was elected legislator from Radhanpur in the 2017 Assembly elections, said: “The Congress observer tried to create a lot of issues over my vote, so you can understand for whom did I vote.”
“I have cast my vote for the honest national leadership that wants to take the country to new heights,” Thakor was quoted as saying by PTI. “I cast my vote as per my inner voice. I got nothing other than mental stress by being in the Congress party. I am free from that burden.”
He also alleged that he was a victim of propaganda within the Congress and could not do anything for his backward castes community.
Zala, the legislator from Bayad, claimed that Congress leaders were not listening to party workers. “From the day I became an MLA, senior leaders in the party were harassing me,” Zala was quoted as saying.