In a jolt to BJP, Congress candidate Ahmed Patel on Wednesday scraped through to notch a victory in a bitterly-contested Rajya Sabha election against all out efforts of the BJP to check his attempt to seek a fifth term.
Patel, 68, the powerful political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, is said to have secured 44 votes defeating Congress defector Balwantsinh Rajput. The other two successful candidates in the election were BJP President Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani.
"Satyamev Jayate (Truth alone triumphs). This is not just my victory. It is a defeat of the most blatant use of money power, muscle power and abuse of state machinery," Patel tweeted soon after he won.
Here are the highlights:
* Money, muscle and manipulation couldn't win Gujarat RS Polls. BJP can break few weak Congress MLAs, but cannot break the party: Chidambaram
सत्यमेव जयते— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) August 8, 2017
* This is not just my victory. It is a defeat of the most blatant use of money power, muscle power and abuse of state machinery. I want to thank each & every MLA who voted for me despite unprecedented intimidation & pressure from BJP.They voted for an inclusive India, tweets Patel
* Congress leader Ahmed Patel retains Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat
* I appreciate the order of the Election Commission. It will boost the morale of the Congress workers. It will bring down the quota needed to win the election: Ahmed Patel
* BJP MLA Nalinbhai Kothadia admits on TV having cross-voted for the Congress. "I wanted to ensure defeat for the BJP as the party has not done enough for the Patidar community".
Welcome EC decision to disqualify the 2 votes.— Jyotiraditya Scindia (@JM_Scindia) August 8, 2017
गांधीजी ने कहा था "सत्य परेशान हो सकता है, पराजित नहीं।"
* Counting of votes underway for Gujarat Rajya Sabha Polls
* If required we will take legal action: Gujarat Dy CM Nitin Patel on EC verdict
* Shaktisinh Gohil has seen the CD himself also and knows that he stood up in anger. I believe they already had plans since yesterday to make this fabricated story and conspiracy: Nitin Patel
Our polling agent raised the issue immediately but we thought it is for EC to decide further on it. I demand EC to make CD public: Guj Dy CM pic.twitter.com/J0kXMpLo6W— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2017
* The decision is sad. If the CD of voting is made public, not just us the whole nation will say the decision is wrong. Shaktisinh Gohil Ji was angry when MLA showed him his vote, he is visibly angry; tried to snatch the ballot paper: Nitinbhai Patel, Gujarat Deputy CM
* Truth has emerged victorious in spite of BJP using all the power. Ahmed Patel will win: Surjewala
* EC asks the returning officer to segregate the two ballots and proceed with the counting: says poll panel's order on its website
* Big win for democracy; will boost morale of Congress worker. Ahmed Patel will win with big margin: Bharatsinh Solanki, Gujarat Congress leader
* EC declares votes of two Congress MLAs who had cross-voted in Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls invalid; counting to begin soon
* It is the misuse of muscle power, money power and government machinery. To get just one seat, the entire might of central government, Gujarat government, BJP and RSS, their muscle power and money power, everything has been misused to subvert the elections: AK Antony
* Election Commission will convey order on counting of votes to Returning Officer at 11.30 pm
* EC officials did not meet Congress and BJP delegations for the third time; officials are in closed door meeting right now, reports ANI
* It is a complete sham that Congress is indulging in, the allegations are completely baseless: Piyush Goyal, Union minister
* We want electoral process to be completed and counting to begin: Nirmala Sitharaman, Union minister
* We are confident about EC's judgement, they will be giving opining on counting soon: Dharmendra Pradhan, Union minister
* Congress cannot put undue pressure on EC. If Congress party goes to EC the third time, so will we: Ravi Shankar Prasad
* Third delegation of BJP comprising Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan reach the EC office
* Congress leaders including RPN Singh and Randeep Surjewala going to the Election Commission for the third time
* Election Commission scrutinising video recording of voting, decision soon
* We have appealed the Election Commission to start the counting process immediately because free and fair elections took place: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union minister
* We have full faith in the Election Commission. Congress' allegations have no substance and they are giving wrong precedents: Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union minister
* Union Minister Arun Jaitley also reaches Election Commission office in Delhi
* There is enough evidence that the ballot paper were seen by people other than those authorised. The EC must reject these ballot papers as it did in Haryana in June 2016: P Chidambaram, Congress
* I am very much confident, let counting take place. Complaint was filed immediately but returning officer didn't do anything: Ahmed Patel
* Since morning Congress has been claiming win, now with defeat staring in their face they are making desperate attempts. Requested EC to reject Congress' plea as once votes are cast then nothing can be done, process was fair: Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union minister
* BJP demands immediate counting of votes and announcement of results; says Congress is reacting out of fear of defeat
* Senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Nirmala Sitharaman reach EC office
* One of our MLAs had mistakenly showed his vote in Haryana and his vote was rejected, same was done in Gujarat so should be rejected: Congress leader Anand Sharma
* Returning Officer has rejected the Congress' objection and sent its report to the ECI in Delhi. Counting to begin post directives by the ECI. Congress deliberately delaying process to find excuses for the defeat: Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel
* Congress Working Committee meeting underway at party HQ. Rahul Gandhi to skip as he is down with viral fever, reports ANI
* We requested that Congress, BJP and presiding officer should jointly watch video, but BJP objected. Waiting for EC decision. We had raised objection at 9.30 am, but EC has not responded till now. This shows that they are being put under pressure: Arjun Modhwadia, Congress leader
* All reports and Congress' complaint seeking cancellation of 2 votes of Cong MLAs sent to EC; counting will begin once reply is received, reports ANI
* All reports and Congress complaint sent to EC in Delhi. Counting will begin once reply is received.
Congress complaint to EC demanding quashing of votes of 2 Cong MLAs who voted BJP and allegedly showed votes publicly pic.twitter.com/xf7glnABQ8— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2017
* Congress' Randeep Surjewala and RPN Singh approach EC to demand quashing of votes of 2 Congress MLAs, say they voted BJP and publicly showed votes.
* If a voter shows his vote to anyone other than party's authorised agent, then the vote gets rejected. Two Congress MLAs who voted for BJP showed their votes to Amit Shahji, it has been video-graphed. We will ask for official copy, if the video has been tampered then its a serious a criminal act, we will go to SC for that: Shaktisinh Gohil, Congress
* Congress demands cancellation of votes of two party MLAs (Dharmendra Jadeja and Raghavji Patel) who quit ahead of polling today. Congress Spokesperson Shakti Singh Gohil says they will not allow the officials to open the ballot box until their demand is fulfilled.
* Counting of votes will be taken up after 5 pm
* Ahmed Patel ji is winning comfortably: Ashok Gehlot,Congress Gujarat in charge
2:00 pm: Number are in our favour, result should be good, I am confident and optimistic, says Ahmed Patel
1:10 pm: Congress MLA Dharshi Khanpura cast his vote himself after EC officer denied his proxy voting request
1:05 pm: Congress' Dharshi Khanpura urges EC officer to allow proxy vote for him as unable to write; officer says request should've been made 3 days prior. BJP opposes
12:50 pm: Congress MLAs will vote for Ahmed Patel despite BJP's conspiracy and cheap tactics. BJP could not lure the Congress MLA. In the end truth will prevail, definitely Ahmed Patel is going to get all the votes: Randeep Surjewala
12:45 pm: Victory of our candidates certain. Party had been working for this since announcement of election dates: Anandiben Patel, former Gujarat CM
12:40 pm: 61 BJP MLAs and 43 Congress MLAs have cast their votes so far.
12:30 pm: We have got 43 votes so far, 1 MLA is going to vote. Chhotubhai Vasava (JDU) publicly said he voted for Ahmed bhai: Arjun Modhwadia,Congress
12:22 pm: BJP claims Congress MLA Karam Singh voted for them
11:00 am: JD(U) MLA Chotu Vasava says: “I have voted as per party’s ideology.”
Things blown out of proportion because of Ahmed Patel. He's in risky situation,half of his ppl might end up voting for BJP:Majeed Memon, NCP pic.twitter.com/NcpYEMaTvY— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2017
10:28 am: Jadeja (Kandhal Jadeja) ji is first time MLA, he is innocent. Our vote is for UPA: NCP's Jayant Patel
10:27 am: Voted according to whip issued by high command, after all we are the partner of UPA: Jayant Patel, NCP
10:25 am: Seven Congress MLAs including Shankersinh Vaghela who have not voted for Ahmed Patel are Shankersinh Vaghela, Mahendrasinh Vaghela, C K Raolji, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Amit Chaudhary, Bholabhai Gohil, Raghavji Patel.
10:20 am: I have cast my vote. In a democracy the voting is secret: Mahendra Sinh Vaghela, Congress
10:18 am: Both NCP MLAs voting for BJP candidate, it is clear: Vijay Rupani
10:14 am: 44 Congress MLAs, lodged in resort in Ananda, reach Assembly for voting
10:13 am: Congress MLA Bhola Gohil says he didn’t vote for the Congress candidate.
10:12 am: Out of the 4 candidates, Ahmed Patel is going to get the maximum number of votes. His victory is certain: Shailesh Parmar
10:09 am: Congree General Secretary Digvijaya Sing, in a series of tweets, asked Shankarsinh Vaghela not to ditch the party.
Whatever your issues in Congress we shall resolve within. Don't ditch and support your old Chela who is taking the whole Country for a ride.— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) August 8, 2017
Don't forget what Congress has done for you. You are a Rajput. Please ensure Ahmed Bhai's victory. He has been our friend and supporter.— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) August 8, 2017
My fervent appeal to Bapu Shankar Singh ji Vaghela as an individual and his brother who hosted him in Khajuraho before he became CM.— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) August 8, 2017
10:00 am: 2 MLAs voted for BJP despite being Congress MLAs. Shakti Singh Gohil has taken objection against this: Arjun Modhwadia
09:53 am: There are only 2 parties in Gujarat - Congress & BJP. If I'm not with Congress, you know where will I be: Raghavji Patel
09:41 am: Had cleared things yesterday itself. You will know everything in the evening: NCP MLA Kandhal Jadeja
09:39 am: When I am confident, party is confident we are going to win. Wait for the result to come, says Ahmed Patel
09:38: Two more MLAs Dharmendra Jadeja and Raghavji Patel resign from Congress, give vote to BJP
09:32 am: Shankarsinh Vaghela says he has voted for BJP, first time publicly announcing his support to the saffron party.
Jab Cong jeetne waali hai hi nahi, vote bina matlab Cong ko dene ka matlab nahi tha. Humne Ahmed Patel ko vote nahi diya:Shankersinh Vaghela pic.twitter.com/LoQZES57K3— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2017
09:30 am: BJP can keep trying, but Ahmad Patel will win. Numbers will favor us. Sharad Pawar has already issued statement that they will vote for us: Kapil Sibal
09:05 am: BJP's Shankatsinh Vaghela arrives at Assembly for voting
09:00 am: Voting begins at the Gujarat Assembly for three Rajya Sabha seats
08:58 am: Given the support extended by the NCP, JD(U) and the fact that the Shankersinh Vaghela group will vote for Rajput, BJP’s all three candidates are set to win, said Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani minutes before voting.