I will win Rajya Sabha battle: Ahmed Patel

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Anand (Gujarat), Aug 7 (IANS) Alleging that he was being targeted by the BJP, veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Monday expressed confidence that he will win Tuesday’s Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat.

In a rare appearance before the media, Patel, political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, said: “Besides the 44 legislators (who were flown to Bengaluru), we have the support of Janata Dal-United, Nationalist Congress Party and (rebel leader) Shankersinh Vaghela.

“I have spoken to Sharad Pawarji and he has promised all help to the Congress. They have even issued a whip. As for Vaghela, he has himself promised that he will vote for me and I believe he will keep his word,” he said.

Asked about allegations of surveillance on him and Congress MLAs by the ruling BJP, he said: “I don’t know why I am targeted like this. This is example of a banana republic.

“I have full confidence in my victory tomorrow despite the BJP’s attempts and the numbers will surprise everyone,” Patel said at a private resort near Anand where the 44 MLAs are lodged.

Patel needs 45 first preference votes in a House of 176 MLAs out of total 182. Six Congress MLAs have resigned.

He counts the 44 legislators, two of the NCP and the lone Janata Dal-United to see him through. Vaghela, who had resigned as leader of the opposition last month, and six other MLAs close to him were not taken to Bengaluru and neither have they resigned.

–IANS

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