Sonia’s Confidant and Congress’ Trouble-shooter Wins Nail Biting Rajya Sabha Contest

9 Aug, 2017 12:41 IST|Sakshi
Ahmed Patel pulled off a victory in the bitterly fought Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat

Ahmedabad: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who pulled off a victory in the bitterly fought Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat, has the reputation of being a trouble-shooter and strategist for the party.

The long-serving political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been one of the most powerful functionaries in the party. An organisational man, he had gently turned down offers to join the government at the centre by four prime ministers when the Congress was in power, according to party insiders. A Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist, he has represented Gujarat seven times in Parliament - three-time as Lok Sabha member from Bharuch and four-time as Rajya Sabha member.

The contest for fifth Rajya Sabha term turned out to be the most challenging for the 67-year-old leader. Patel beat Balwantsinh Rajput, who was till recently the Congress' chief whip in the state Assembly before switching over to BJP, polling 44 votes in the first Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat in two decades which saw a contest instead of official candidates of major parties getting elected unopposed.

He won after dramatic late night developments which saw the Election Commission rejecting the votes of two dissident MLAs of the main opposition party for violating electoral rules.

PTI

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