The Congress rebel, Balvantsinh Rajput, who lost the Rajya Sabha elections on a BJP ticket, has challenged the victory of Congress candidate, Ahmed Patel, in the Gujarat High Court. The matter is likely to be heard on Monday.
Rajput has moved an election petition challenging the election results of Patel. His contention is that the Election Commission cannot issue a direction to the returning officer to invalidate two votes when the officer has decided to allow it.
The petitioner’s advocate Devang Vyas and senior counsel Satya Pal Jain pled for urgent circulation and hearing of the case before the second division bench of Justice MR Shah and BN Karia. The court has directed the registry for listing the matter before the designated court, and it is most likely to be heard on Monday.
In the petition, it has been alleged that Patel acted in violation of the Representation of the People Act, that strictly prohibits candidates from luring voters to seek a vote.
The petition alleges that Patel took 44 MLAs to Bengaluru against their wishes and confined them — just to seek their votes for the election.
The petitioner has also pled that the court should set aside the result declaring Patel the winner, and declare him the winning candidate instead.
To justify his victory, Rajput has claimed that two Congress MLAs had shown their ballot paper to someone other than the party’s polling agent.
This was opposed by BJP leader Shankar Chaudhary. If these two votes are declared invalid too, Patel will not have enough votes in the first round, but he will have enough votes in the preferential round to be declared the winner.
The EC’s decision paved the way for the victory of Congress candidate Ahmed Patel — who got 44 votes, the minimum he needed to win. Rajput polled 38 votes.