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Gujarat RS polls: First preference voting over

IANS | June 19, 2020 04:19 PM

GANDHINAGAR:The first preference voting for four Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat ended on Friday afternoon. After the voting, the victory of three candidates -- two of the BJP and one from the Congress -- is being considered as confirmed. However, the outcome in one seat still hangs in the balance.

Rajya Sabha elections for four seats in Gujarat are being held in the Assembly building in Gandhinagar. In the 182-member Assembly, the Bharatiya Janata Party has a strength of 103, Congress (65), Bharatiya Tribal Party (2), NCP (1) and there is one independent MLA, Jignesh Mevani. Also, 10 seats are vacant in the House as eight Congress MLAs had resigned recently while two seats are vacant due to legal matters.

Now, any candidate would need at least 35 votes to win the Rajya Sabha poll. The first preference voting for the BJP's two candidates, Ajay Bhardwaj and Ramilaben Bara and the Congress' Shaktisinh Gohil has ended, according to sources.

For the last and fourth seat, the second preference voting will be held for the BJP's Narhari Amin and the Congress' Bharatsinh Solanki.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Election Officer (CEO), Gujarat, Dr Murali Krishna has ensured that social distancing guidelines are being strictly followed at the polling centre. Abiding by this, a limited number of MLAs, who are the voters for this election, are being allowed inside the voting centre.

Batches of 35 members of both the parties to vote for the BJP's two candidates and one batch of 35 MLAs to vote for the Congress' Shaktisinh Gohil have cast their votes, according to sources.

Out of the remaining 33 MLAs of the BJP and the Congress' 30 MLAs, it remains to be seen how many votes can the remaining candidates get to win the fourth seat.

The BJP is banking on the remaining two votes from the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), which has two seats in the House and also the lone member from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

The Congress is also looking forward to garner the remaining five votes from the above mentioned parties. The Congress has the assurance of getting one vote from the lone independent MLA Jignesh Mevani. But it still leaves a gap of four votes for the Congress candidate. Even if it gets the three votes from the BTP and the NCP, it will still fall short by one vote.

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