Two False Claimants for JDU Leader Chhotu Vasava’s Vote GAMES OF DOUBLE & TRIPLE CROSSINGS
BJP admits Kotadiya voted for it; Cong denies that Boskey voted for it
BJP MLA Nalin Kotadiya and NCP’s Jayant Boskey Patel claimed to have voted for Congman; Patidar leader Varun Patel dismisses Kotadiya’s claim
Gandhinagar: Congress could manage only 43 votes from party MLAs for the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat and it was the 44th, non-Congress, vote that helped Ahmed Patel romp home. But who was the owner of the 44th vote? On the evening of August 8, there were as many as three non-Congress MLAs who claimed they voted for Patel. T h e y were Nal i n Kotadiya — the vociferous Gujarat Parivartan Party MLA representing Dhari who joined BJP and who belongs to the Patidar community — Jayant Boskey Patel, the NCP MLA from Umreth; and Chhotu Vasava, the JDU MLA from Jhagadia. “That day,wehad43of ourown votes. With 43, we could not win, but with 44, we could not lose,” said Congress polling agent Arjun Modvadia. Kotadiya has been breathing fire against BJP since the Patidar agitation. He had gone against the BJP whip during the presidential poll. However, during the Rajya Sabha polls, he attended BJP meetings and praised the state government after casting his vote. He initially declined to reveal whom he had voted for but added a twist to the tale by claiming thattheBJP’sauthorisedagentwas displeasedwhenheshowedhimhis ballot. By evening, he claimed in a video that he had gone against the party whip and voted for Patel, after hearing the inner voice and “remembering 14 people from his community who died in police action and the pain of the community.” However, Pat i d a r AnamatAndolanSamiti leader Varun Patel dismissedKotadiya’sclaim. “He was lampooned by themembersof thecommunity when we realised that he had sided with BJP and it was just a face-saving exercise on his part. He voted for BJP,” Varun Patel told ET. BJP leaders also admitted that Kotadiya voted for its candidate.
S i mi l a r l y N C P ’ s Boskey Patel claimed thathispartywasaUPA member, after casting his vote. While his colleague Kandhal Jadeja openly sided with BJP, Boskey’s reactions kept everyone guessing for a w h i l e . H o w e v e r, CongressdeniedBoskey had voted for Patel and supporters of Vaghela told ET that Boskey had voted for the BJP.
That left JDU’s Jhagadia MLA Chhotu Vasavaastheremaining claimant. He minced no words in saying that he had voted for Patel in spite of his party’s alliancewithBJP.AhmedPatelshowed his gratitude by visiting Vasava for his support. However, BJP was not ready to admit it and many insiders kept repeating throughout the day, “Chhotubhai voted for us.”