Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala of Congress cast their votes to BJP candidates instead of Congress nominees and resigned as MLAs immediately after casting their ballots
EXTERNAL Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and another BJP candidate, Jugal Thakor, were elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat on Friday in by-elections, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani declared here.
(L-R) Rajya Sabha candidate Jugalji Thakor, State BJP President Jitu Vaghani and
Union Foreign Minister S Jaishankar flash the victory sign during Rajya Sabha election at Assembly hall in Gandhinagar
on Friday. (PTI)
Election Commission sources confirmed the result which will be officially announced once the returning officer files the report.
Jaishankar secured 104 votes and Thakor 105, while Congress candidates Chandrika Chudasama and Gaurav Pandya managed to get 70 votes each.
Jaishankar, a former Foreign Secretary, needed to get elected to Parliament after he was inducted into the Narendra Modi Cabinet. Two Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat had fallen vacant after Union Ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani were elected to the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar and Amethi, respectively. “Both of our candidates have won the election with a thumping majority. The Congress tried to create hurdles in the elections and went up to the Supreme Court, but it failed,” Rupani told reporters. Jaishankar and Thakor secured more than required number of votes, an Election Commission official said.
“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 votes of 100 MLAs of the BJP, Jaishankar and Thakor also got votes of one NCP MLA, two Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) legislators and two rebels of the Congress -- Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala.
Alpesh Thakor and Zala resigned as MLAs immediately after casting their ballots, officials said. One vote cast in Jaishankar’s favour was held invalid for technical reasons, due to which he got 104 votes.
The Congress candidates got votes of its own 69 MLAs and the vote of independent MLA Jignesh Mevani.
The Congress had demanded that the EC reject the votes of Alpesh Thakor and Zala as they voted against party candidates by defying whip. But the EC rejected the plea before the counting began.