Gujarat HC junks Ahmed Patel’s plea against petition challenging his RS win

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Gandhinagar, April 20 (IANS) The Gujarat High Court on Friday rejected Rajya Sabha (RS) Congress member Ahmed Patel’s plea against the admission of BJP’s Balwantsinh Rajput’s petition challenging the Election Commission (EC)’s decision that resulted in Ahmed Patel’s victory in the RS polls last year.

Justice Bela Trivedi dismissed the application by Patel who was represented by senior Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal in the court.

Balwantsinh Rajput, a former Congress MLA, defected from the party to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) just ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha elections for three seats in the state and was fielded as a BJP nominee for one of the seats.

Rajput lost the election to Patel after the EC passed an order invalidating the votes of former Congress MLAs Raghavjee Patel and Bholabhai Gohel over flouting of poll norms. Going against the party’s decision, the two Congress leaders had voted for Rajput instead of Patel. The votes were invalidated by the EC, thus paving the way for Patel’s victory.

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After the elections, Rajput had filed a petition in August 2017 questioning the Commission’s invalidation of two votes by rebel Congress leaders following objections raised by the Congress.

He also accused Patel of indulging in corrupt practices by taking 44 Congress MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru and keeping them in captivity and spending lavishly on them.

May 4 has been fixed as the date for initiating the case proceedings in the court.

–IANS

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