How Congress lost Gujarat to save Ahmed Patel’s Rajya Sabha seat

On 8th August, 2017, Congress moved mountains, figuratively and MLAs, literally, to preserve Ahmed Patel’s Rajya Sabha seat. In the cut price, Congress let Gujaratis die as flood inundated the point out.

3 Rajya Sabha seats ended up up for reelection in Gujarat and it had 4 contenders. One of the seats was of Ahmed Patel.

Gujarat was looking at Rajya Sabha elections for the to start with time since 1996 as they were normally uncontested. Other two seats up for grabs were becoming contested by Amit Shah and Smriti Irani of the BJP, both of those heavyweights in their own way. Their victory was almost certain. BJP has fielded Balwantsinh Rajput, former Main Whip of Gujarat Congress in assembly against Ahmed Patel. 

Ahmed Patel was then a 7 time MP from Gujarat (3 moments Lok Sabha and 4 periods Rajya Sabha) and also the political adviser to Congress President Sonia Gandhi. By 1st week of August it was obvious that Congress was a sinking ship in Gujarat. Patel needed 45 votes to keep his seat. Gujarat Congress initially had 57 MLAs. Of these, by 1st August, 6 had resigned and joined the BJP. It was a near get in touch with.

So what does Congress do? The oldest trick in the guide. Kidnap the MLAs, get them to a luxury resort until voting working day to stop them from ‘crossing over’ to the BJP. Apart from, when the Congress MLAs have been experiencing buffet breakfasts, Gujarat was inundated with floods, a person of the worst in a ten years. Banaskantha’s Dhanera was a person of the worst impacted places in the floods. Their Congress MLA, Joitabhai Patel, was a single of the 44 MLAs vacationing in then Congress-dominated Bangalore.

When the citizens wanted their elected leaders in time of pure calamity, their leaders were being not reachable because their phones were switched off. In simple fact, special chef was arranged for the Gujarat Congress MLAs as their constituencies struggled with rescue functions.

The significant-octane elections continued write-up-midnight and the drama was no fewer than a Bollywood potboiler. Congress experienced place all funds and muscle mass ability to help save that just one Rajya Sabha seat. Patel won, but Congress lost Gujarat in the cut price.

This when the state was heading into assembly elections just number of months down the line. BJP was going through pretty much 20 years’ anti-incumbency. A technology of voters had developed up in a non-Congress dominated Gujarat. In these twenty yrs, Gujarat has observed an earthquake, burning up of educate compartment total of karsevaks adopted by riots and alleged fake encounters. But then, Gujarat has also witnessed rise in overseas financial investment, design of Narmada canal spider community and superior electrical power and h2o connectivity.

But did Congress do all this just for Ahmed Patel? No. It was to save Sonia Gandhi’s facial area. Ahmed Patel’s loss would suggest Sonia Gandhi’s decline. BJP was heading all out to make it confident that the defeat is found as a ‘blow to Sonia Gandhi’. A revenge for all the “Blow to Modi” headlines that Ahmed Patel is considered to have managed when Congress dominated. And Congress was going all out to preserve Patel and in transform help save Sonia’s face.

For a bash that has gambled the complete country about the several years, gambling Gujarat to save Sonia did not come as substantially of a surprise.

71-yr outdated Ahmed Patel handed away previously currently pursuing various organ failures thanks to coronavirus. He was getting probed in several UPA-era frauds. And for Congress, it is still left with riot-convict and sedition accused Hardik Patel as party main in Gujarat.