RS Polls: Gehlot magic helps Congress cruise in Rajasthan
Amid the internet suspension and political fencing of both BJP and Congress MLAs in private resorts, when Rajasthan Chief Minister on Friday morning assured that the Congress will win all the three Rajya Sabha seats it is contesting as 126 MLAs will support the party, many doubted his statement. And there was reason to doubt the Chief Minister's claims.Author : Rakesh Behal
On Thursday, there were talks of many MLAs sharing their discontent with Gehlot. The Independents, members of the CPI(M) and the BTP had expressed their resentment over the halted projects in the state. Hence it didn't come as a surprise when many raised their eyebrows over the confidence shown by the Chief Minister on Friday morning.
But Gehlot was proved right as the election results announced later in the day showed all three Congress candidates -- Randeep Singh Surjewala, Mukul Wasnik and Pramod Tiwari -- emerge victorious.
Earlier, many MLAs had refused to join the political camping in Udaipur ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections. In fact, even the six BSP turncoats were challenging Gehlot in one way or the other.
However, the Chief Minister, also called the 'Jadugar' (magician) by many, showed his man management skills and helped all 126 MLAs join his flock and vote for the Congress.
Evetually, the Congress managed 127 votes against the expected overall strength of 126 MLAs, as one BJP MLA cross-voted for the Congress.
Speaking to IANS, state minister Shakuntala Rawat said, "Gehlot is a strong team leader who knows how to keep his flock together at times of crisis."
Independent MLA Sanyam Lodha, who had expressed his displeasure for fielding �outsiders' in the Rajya Sabha polls, said, "I still stick to my point, but I have nothing against the Congress and hence I showed my support to the party. Gehlot is an excellent leader and hence I supported him."
Gujarat Congress chief Raghu Sharma told IANS, "We have risen in tally and they have lost."
Meanwhile, Rajasthan BJP has suspended Dholpur MLA Shobharani Kushwah on charges of cross-voting during the RS polls. Kushwah reportedly cast her vote for Congress candidate Pramod Tiwari. Had Kushwah not voted for Tiwari, he might have lost as he would fallen one short of the required 41 votes.
On her part, Kushwah said, "I have my own personal problems. My husband is behind bars for years."