Undercurrents

Congress on the edge in Gujarat

Congress is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that its general secretary Ahmed Patel is elected to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat where the BJP chief Amit Shah is also seeking elections to the Upper House. While Amit Shah is expected to win hands down, it is a matter of prestige for Congress whose 8 MLAs have already rebelled.

Congress has taken the safest best by packing off its 42 MLAs to a resort in Karnataka. Some of these MLAs have claimed that the BJP had offered them Rs 15 crore each as well as party tickets for the next assembly elections to switch over. There are, however, questions being raised as to who is footing the bills for these MLAs. Congress has said it was being paid by the MLAs themselves but that his hard to swallow. Stakes are really high for both the parties in the election to Rajya Sabha but given the revolt by senior leader Shankersinh Vaghela and eight party MLAs, the signs are not good for the Congress in the state. For Modi and BJP, of course, the stakes are high in Gujarat and would pave the way for another term at the Centre.

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