Vaghela alleges Congress conspiracy to ensure Ahmed Patel’s victory. Congress veteran Shankersinh Vaghela has slammed senior Congress leadership, alleging they hatched a conspiracy to ensure Ahmed Patel’s victory in Tuesday’s Rajya Sabha elections. According to Vaghela, the night before the election, the Congress had already decided to challenge the election result. Senior party members and Congress advocates were “preparing scripts” and the “objections” they’d make, Vaghela alleged.Vaghela said, “Had MLAs not cross-voted, Congress would never win”. Ahmed Patel eked out a win Tuesday in what was easily one of the most talked about and bitterly fought Rajya Sabha by-elections in the history of the Upper House after the votes of Congress MLAs Raghavjibhai Patel and Bholabhai Gohil were invalidated.Vaghela also questioned the Election Commission (EC) verdict. “They had no role in this, they should not have interfered. The Returning Officer had the right to decide. If EC has brains, I request them to look at the video again and see how the party agent “knowingly” stood up during the voting, when rule clearly states not to do so.”Congress had claimed that the two Congress leaders, belonging to the Vaghela group, had not only disobeyed the party whip but also showed their ballots to Congress agent Shaktisinh Gohil as well as the BJP agent, thus violating Rule 39, and hence their votes should be rendered invalid. “They voted for the BJP. After showing their ballot to me, they also flashed their ballot to the side where (BJP national president and the party candidate) Amit Shah was sitting, and there is a video of this,” Congress party agent for the voting, Shaktisinh Gohil alleged.Vaghela also criticized the Congress party for its failure to keep its MLAs together. “Why are you celebrating?”, Vaghela said. “The party that had 57 MLAs couldn’t even muster the required votes for the election. They couldn’t even hold their MLAs together, what kind of party is this?” “You made them run from Bengaluru to Anand, but still could win only due to NCP’s and JD(U)’s mercy,” he alleged.The Congress veteran also warned that many MLAs were ready to quit the party. “As per my source, 20 to 25 MLAs are ready to leave the party. I have the full list of the MLAs,” he claimed. On Thursday, the Congress expelled eight MLAs including Vaghela for six years for defying the party whip. He asked: “Eleven Congress MLAs cross-voted in the presidential election. Why was no action taken then?
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