BJP eyeing Rajya Sabha seat vacant after Ahmed Patel’s death


Gandhinagar: After the death of two members of the Rajya Sabha in Gujarat, preparations for the elections are in full swing. Congress leader Ahmed Patel won the Rajya Sabha elections in 2017 while BJP leader Abhay Bhardwaj joined the Rajya Sabha in 2020. Now that the seat has fallen vacant following the demise of these two MPs, all eyes are on how the Rajya Sabha elections will be conducted. Elections for Ahmed Patel and Abhay Bhardwaj’s vacant Rajya Sabha seats are likely to be held in the second week of December.

Both the Rajya Sabha MPs have died of coronavirus. The political equations in the state are changing after the tragic deaths of Ahmed Patel and Abhay Bhardwaj. After the demise of the Congress MP, the seat fell vacant and when the state elections were to be held again, the number was likely to go to the Bharatiya Janata Party. But now that the BJP Rajya Sabha MP Abhay Bhardwaj has also passed away, the political equations have changed. Experts are now saying that both the parties can send one of their candidates to the Rajya Sabha according to the strength of the membership.

However, there is talk in political circles that the BJP will succeed in sending two of its candidates to the Rajya Sabha for both the seats. This is because in the Rajya Sabha elections held in the vacant seats of Amit Shah and Smriti Irani after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the MLAs had to cast separate votes for both the seats.

The Congress had challenged the issue in the Supreme Court at that time but the same declaration, referring to the 2009 and 1994 elections by the Election Commission, referred to the process of holding separate elections to both vacant seats in Gujarat.

Gujarat has a total of 11 seats in the Rajya Sabha, out of which the highest 7 seats are currently held by the Bharatiya Janata Party, while the remaining seats are with the Congress.

The BJP currently has 111 seats in the Assembly after winning the by-elections, while the Congress has 65, the BTP has 2, the NCP and independent has 1-1.and 2 vacant.

The elections are likely to be announced in the second week of December. After Ahmed Patel’s death, it seemed that the BJP could send Balwantsinh Rajput, who had joined the BJP from the Congress during Ahmed Patel’s election to the Rajya Sabha and clear the account. But now, with the demise of Abhay Bhardwaj, if the BJP can field a single candidate, it is likely to give tickets to an old activist to appease its loyalists. In this situation, the BJP will definitely try to win one more seat.