BJP using money & muscle power, govt machinery to win 1 Rajya Sabha seat: AK Antony

Wednesday, Aug 9, 2017,9:13 IST By joji A A A

New Delhi | The Congress Tuesday said what has happened in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls were against the procedures and rules, and accused the BJP of using muscle and money power to win just one seat.
Senior Congress leader and former Defence Minister A K Antony said, “It is the misuse of muscle power, money power and government machinery. To get just one seat, the entire might of central government, Gujarat government, BJP and RSS, their muscle power and money power, everything has been misused to subvert the elections.”
The Congress today petitioned the Election Commission to cancel the votes of two of its “disgruntled” MLAs for showing the ballots to BJP chief Amit Shah.
It has become a high-stakes battle for the Congress, thanks to infighting and resignations, with the BJP fancying its prospects to win the third seat also, defeating Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, who is seeking a fifth RS term.
The BJP has nominated Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani for two other Rajya Sabha seats from the state and they would sail through.
Senior Congress leader Ambika Soni said, “We have brought a violation of electoral practices to the notice of the Election Commission. We have full faith in the Election Commission that will uphold what we are saying.” She said this was a normal election which should have gone in the normal way as we had the numbers.
“But if they are going to superimpose that some things should go in their favour, we are also alert enough and have brought it to the notice of the Election Commission,” she said.
Soni said each party has sufficient number of MLAs to elect their candidates.
“If by bypassing anti-defection law, by bypassing political morality and laws, they have a fourth candidate which is unusual. BJP is doing a lot of things that are weakening democracy.
“If BJP thinks they can get away by using their power or they have their habit of ham-handing, then we will not allow them. We will not allow the BJP to frighten us or browbeat us,” the Congress leader said.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram also tweeted, “EC should follow precedents. Disqualify the two ballot papers and start the counting.”
High drama was enacted at the Election Commission tonight over the delay in start of counting for the Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections.
Three delegations each of the Congress and BJP made a dash for ‘Nirvachan Sadan’ within a span of two hours, with the former demanding that the votes of its MLAs Bholabhai Gohil and Raghavjibhai Patel be declared invalid, and the latter insisting that counting be taken up “immediately”.