BothNCPMLAsVot­ed­forBJP in Gu­jarat RS Battle: Congress

Cong sus­pects NCP idea of float­ing a third front in Gu­jarat is meant to split anti-BJP votes Will Also Win Gu­jarat: Ahmed Pa­tel

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - CL.Manoj@ times­

New Delhi: Both NCP MLAs in Gu­jarat voted for BJP in the Ra­jya Sabha polls that saw Ahmed Pa­tel scam­per home by se­cur­ing the mi n i mum r e q u i s i t e vo t e s , Congress lead­ers in­volved in the post-re­sult anal­y­sis have said. Yet, some NCP lead­ers promptly sent out ‘con­grat­u­la­tory’ text mes­sages to Congress lead­ers soon af­ter Pa­tel’s vic­tory, to which the Congress diplo­mat­i­cally said ‘thanks’. NCP gen­eral sec­re­tary Pra­ful Pa­tel was in­charge of the party’s strat­egy for the Gu­jarat assem­bly polls.

The Congress side have for long sus­pected that Gu­jarat NCP’s talk of float­ing a third front with JDU and Hardik Pa­tel’s out­fit for the Gu­jarat assem­bly polls was aimed at split­ting the anti-in­cum­bency votes. Some feel Shankarsinh Vaghela too may join the ‘third front’ camp now.

The ques­tion that is en­gag­ing politi­cians in Delhi now is whether the two Congress rebel MLAs whose votes were de­clared in­valid, af­ter

Ahmed Pa­tel on Thurs­day reached Par­lia­ment to be mobbed by the me­dia and op­po­si­tion MPs. Later at a Youth Congress func­tion, Pa­tel said: “I am sure we will also win Gu­jarat. BJP made it (RS poll) a pres­tige issue, it is their loss,” he said. “Even BJP is afraid of these two peo­ple. One is a con­sti­tu­tional au­thor­ity and an­other is an ex­tra-con­sti­tu­tional au­thor­ity.” — Our Po­lit­i­cal Bureau

they showed it to Amit Shah be­fore putting it in the bal­lot box, had ac­tu­al­ly­madeagen­uine­mis­take­or­were play­ing out a pre-de­ter­mined script. There are enough tak­ers for the the­ory that it was Congress’ ‘triple­cross­ing’ game to counter BJP’s ‘dou­ble-cross­ing’ plot. How­ever, the episode may re­main a mys­tery for­ever or be­come part of folk­lore on the bat­tles for supremacy the two par­ties have waged.

Congress strate­gists also said they Congress leader Ahmed Pa­tel at Par­lia­ment House on Thurs­day

re­fused to en­ter into any deal-mak­ing with Vaghela when he had threat­ened to quit, un­less he was made a PCC chief and CM can­di­date, as they were aware that he had en­tered into a deal with BJP to rock the Congress boat dur­ing the RS polls. Had he been made the PCC chief or­de­claredthep­arty’sCM­can­di­date, Congress would have been sub­jected to Vaghela’s design to en­gi­neer a big­ger split just be­fore the Ra­jya Sabha polls.


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