The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat scheduled for Friday, turning down a plea by Congress leader Paresh Dhanani.
Dhanani, leader of opposition in Gujarat, had challenged voting in the election through postal ballot. Denying a stay on the June 19 election, the court fixed the matter for after four weeks.
Dhanani is among 17 Congress MLAs who were shifted to various resorts and farmhouses amid fears of poaching ahead of the Rajya Sabha election.
Till now, eight Congress MLAs have resigned, bringing their strength in the Assembly to 65, a number not enough to win two Rajya Sabha seats on which the party has fielded its candidates.
Rajya Sabha election for four seats in Gujarat became necessary as the BJP decided to field a third candidate, taking the number of candidates in the fray to five.
While the Congress has fielded Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki, the BJP has fielded Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin.
In the 182-member Assembly, BJP has 103 MLAs and the opposition Congress now stands at 65. While the Bharatiya Tribal Party has two MLAs, Nationalist Congress Party has one legislator. One MLA, Jignesh Mevani, is Independent, while 10 seats are vacant, two due to court cases and eight others due to the resignations.