In the end, perhaps, it was a single vote of the National Congress Party (NCP), with the spirit of mind with which the Congress mounted a counter-offensive to the Elections Commission in Delhi against what ‘He called “the machinations of the BJP,” which saw Ahmed Patel retain his seat of Rajya Sabha with only 44 votes.
The Congress had calculated that the 44 deputies he had stolen from Bengaluru after the uprising erupted in his Gujarat unit with a deputy of Janata Dal (United) and two deputies of NCP would ensure the victory of Mr. Patel.
But the mixed signals of the NCP were disturbing: even his leadership had warned Mr Patel that one of his deputies, Kandhal Jadeja, was in contact with Mr Vaghela. To this, Mr. Patel urged the NCP to “whip a bait to bind its member”.
On Tuesday, predictably, Jadeja voted for Balvantsinh Rajput, the third candidate of the BJP. However, on Wednesday, Gujarat of the party in charge, Praful Patel, confirmed that his other deputy, Jayant Patel, had voted for Mr. Ahmed.
On polling day, two Vaghela supporters, still officially with Congress, voted for the BJP, while the votes of MPs JD (U) and NCP seemed uncertain.
Once the Congress was sure that two of its deputies who had voted on the cross had shown their ballots to the BJP rather than to the congressional voting officer, violating the rules, Mr. Ahmed Patel Put into action.
He alerted Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala, who went to the Electoral Commission with R.P.N. Singh to complain that the returning officer inappropriately rejected the objection of Mr. Patel’s authorized representative that two Members of Congress had violated the voting procedure.
Mr Surjewala also cited a precedent of his own experience – in June 2016 in the Haryana Rajya Sabha polls, he had shown his ballot to Congress Party legislator Kiran Chowdhury (who was not the polling agent). Vote of his party and, consequently, an unauthorized person) and his vote was rejected.
After Mr. Surjewala and Mr. Singh left the Commission, a high-tech delegation from the BJP, headed by Union Minister Arun Jaitley, arrived to counter the Congress.
Meanwhile, the Congress Working Committee was meeting at the All India Congress Committee to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement.
Leaders of the party – Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Digvijaya Singh, Ambika Soni and Mukul Wasnik – followed Congress President Sonia Gandhi in her office, a CWC source said, urging her to Send a high-level party delegation to the Election Commission, as the BJP deployed ministers “to exert pressure.”
Mr Chidambaram, Mr Digvijaya Singh, Mr Sharma, Mr Surjewala and Mr Singh visited the Electoral Commission.
According to party sources, this is the “clinical precision” of Mr. Chidambaram in explaining the legal allegations that have been made in the case of Mr. Patel. And the Commission ruled in favor of the Congress.