The Election Commission has taken a right step to disqualify two votes of Congress MLAs that were in favour of the BJP. If Congress wanted EC to disqualify two votes, BJP was equally right in demanding that it should not. What was Congress doing when two of its MLAs voted for BJP and showed the papers to BJP representatives and should have immediately asked the electoral officer to countermand those votes. Who knows on these grounds if BJP which is likely to contest in a competent court may succeed too. In such a high voltage contest both sides wanted to rule out all possibilities.
Congress won the royal battle through Ahmed Patel to save Sonia’s face. However, the party lost 15 MLAs and huge some of money to horse trading in the process to safeguard its own MLAs and buy couple of them from other parties. Anyway, it was high voltage Rajya Sabha election and it was thriller throughout with media trying to project it just likea India versus Pakistan cricket final. Horse trading had reached new lows with buyers offering exorbitant prices. The decision of Election Commission was based on fact and as per rules. Fast and just decision will make the country vibrant and did show that the democracy is still alive in India. Whether it is BJP or Congress, the Election Commission and the Returning Officer followed the right path to make the election true and fair.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel will be back for his fifth term in the Rajya Sabha. The number of votes required for his re-election came down to 44 votes after the poll panel disqualified two votes cast by Congress legislators for violating the secrecy of the ballot. The Congress alleged that the two MLAs showed their ballot papers to Amit Shah and demanded the Returning Officer to declare their votes invalid. With the counting of votes delayed, the fight moved to the offices of the Election Commission in New Delhi. Both camps dispatched senior party leaders to meet EC officials and plead their case. In the end, the EC rejected these two ballot papers. Congress should ponder over Gujarat situation and try to win the next Assembly election. The party should connect with the people and understand their problems and try to resolve them.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)