Victory of democracy over autocracy in Gujarat: Mamata (Lead, correcting dateline)

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West Midnapore (West Bengal), Aug 9 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday termed Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s victory in the Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat as the triumph of democracy over autocracy.

“Everybody has seen what happened in Gujarat yesterday (Tuesday). It was a fight between democracy and autocracy throughout the night and we are happy that democracy has come out victorious in the end,” Banerjee said here at a public meeting where she officially flagged off the “BJP quit India” movement of the Trinamool Congress.

Banerjee said such a result achieved by the Congress in Gujarat was the biggest example of people’s tolerance and strength of democracy in the country.

“This is the biggest example of tolerance in this country. It is the biggest strength of India,” she said.

Ahmed Patel dealt a severe blow to the BJP by winning the Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat in a cliffhanger contest in which the top Bharatiya Janata Party leadership staked its all by backing Congress defector Balwantsinh Rajput.

Patel got 44 votes, just enough to beat Rajput and earn a fifth term in the Rajya Sabha. The result was delayed by over nine hours because of the Congress’ challenge in the Election Commission first and the BJP’s objections before the returning officer past midnight.

–IANS

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