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How The Numbers Stack up in Gujarat Rajya Sabha Elections

As things stand today, this how numbers work out – 176 divided by 4, which equals to 44, adding one more to take it over the half-way mark – the number which a candidate requires to be elected to the Rajya Sabha sits at 45.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:August 8, 2017, 9:16 AM IST
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How The Numbers Stack up in Gujarat Rajya Sabha Elections
The Rajya Sabha polls is set to go down the wire and will result in an embarrassment for either Congress chief Sonia Gandhi (L) or BJP president Amit Shah.
New Delhi: The Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections set for Tuesday, has shone the limelight on Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary – Ahmed Patel, who would be contesting the polls against BJP's Balvantsinh Rajput.

This raises the question of how exactly is a candidate elected to the Rajya Sabha? And towards whom are the results slanted towards? News18 connects the dots:

A Rajya Sabha member from any state is elected by dividing the total number of eligible votes (legislators) in the assembly with the number of candidates being put up, plus one.

In Gujarat’s case, there were originally 182 eligible votes. After the recent spate of resignations from Congress, the total number of eligible votes has come down to 176.

As things stand today, this how numbers work out – 176 divided by 4, which equals to 44, adding one more to take it over the half-way mark – the number which a candidate requires to be elected to the Rajya Sabha sits at 45.

Before the Congress MLA resignations (out of the 182 legislators), 121 were from the BJP, 57 from Congress, 2 from NCP and 1 from JD(U) and the independent Shankersinh Vaghela.

After the resignations, the total number has come down to 176 and Congress can only boast of 51 MLAs.

In order to keep its remaining flock together, the Congress moved all its Gujarat MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru. Seven of its 51 legislators though did not travel with the group, raising doubts that Patel would not be getting their backing.

So, if we deduct the seven from the 51, it leaves Ahmed Patel with the support of 44 legislators – one short of the magic number.

On the other hand, the BJP out of its total 121 votes would first vote for Amit Shah and Smriti Irani. Considering they would vote to the exact number of 45 for both of them, it would leave them with 31 votes for Balvantsinh Rajput – a Congress MLA who on July 20 resigned from INC at 3:30 pm and joined BJP at 5:30 pm.

One of the major players is former Congress Gujarat chief Shankersinh Vaghela. The leader is related to Balvantsinh Rajput, as the BJP nominee’s son is married to Vaghela’s granddaughter. Meanwhile, the now independent candidate is self-admittedly a “friend” of Ahmed Patel.

If in case there is a tie or none of the candidates get the required number, there would a counting of second-preferences and given the fact that the BJP has a huge majority in the assembly, it would be a cakewalk for Rajput.

Political analysts believe if Ahmed Patel is defeated, then it would be nothing short of a political egg-on-face for Sonia Gandhi, as Patel has been the Congress chief’s long-time political advisor.
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