Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel eyes fifth Rajya Sabha term from Gujarat

Ahmed Patel criticices PM Modi, Amit Shah, accuses of 'misusing agency'.

New Delhi, 26 July: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel filed his nomination papers as the party’s candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat on Wednesday. If re-elected again, Patel will become a Rajya Sabha member for the fifth time. He was elected for the first time in 1993 for the Upper House of the Parliament. Of the total 11 Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, the term of three- Smriti Irani (BJP), Dilipbhai Pandya (BJP) and Ahmed Patel (Congress) – is coming to an end on August 18.

67-year-old Patel has been re-nominated as the party’s candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat. Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, will file his nomination papers in Gandhinagar, according to party sources. In Gujarat, the Congress Party has 57 MLAs in the 182-seat Assembly. It needs the support of 47 of them to get its candidate through. The main opposition party also has the support of two NCP legislators and one of the JD (U).

Total 10 Rajya Sabha seats are vacant from Gujarat, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh and the last date for filing of nominations for these seats is July 28. The election to the Rajya Sabha seat in Gujarat will be held on August 8.
Meanwhile, Mohansinh Rathwa has been elected as the in-charge Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Gujarat assembly. The new LoP had to be appointed after Shankarsinh Vaghela, who was the LoP in the state assembly, quit the party on July 21. Mohansinh Rathwa was elected as the in-charge Leader of Opposition (LoP) in a meeting of Congress MLAs held in the state party headquarters till a new leader is appointed.

Vaghela, who had quit the Congress party, has not resigned as an MLA saying that he will resign only after the Rajya Sabha polls, giving a veiled warning that he would try to ensure the defeat of the Congress candidate. Despite Vaghela’s threat, the Congress says it is confident of Patel’s victory. Confident about Patel’s win, Congress Party has said that it would not face any problem in the re-election of Ahmed Patel, as any “indiscipline” by MLAs in the Rajya Sabha polls would invite disqualification for six years. (ANI)

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