RS bypolls: BJP wins both seats, 1 of them held by Ahmed Patel

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Ahmedabad, Feb 22 (PTI) BJP nominees Dineshchandra Anavadiya and Rambhai Mokariya were on Monday declared elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat as the opposition Congress did not field candidates for the two vacant seats, one of which was held by its veteran leader Ahmed Patel.

The two seats had fallen vacant following the demise of the sitting MPs belonging to the Congress and the BJP.

One of the seats was held by veteran Congressman Ahmed Patel since 1993 till his death on November 25 last year due to complications related to COVID-19.

The other seat fell vacant as BJP's Abhay Bharadwaj, a first time MP elected to the RS in 2019, too, died on December 1 due to the coronavirus infection.

Returning C B Pandya declared Anavadiya and Mokariya as elected uncontested from the two seats on Monday, which was the last date of withdrawal of forms.

Two dummy candidates of the BJP, Rajnikant Patel and Kirit Solanki, withdrew their nominations on Saturday.

With the bypoll to the two seats scheduled to be held separately, the Congress, with 65 MLAs in the 182-member Assembly, decided not to field any candidate due to negligible chances of winning against the BJP which has 111 legislators.

Anavadiya, a long-time BJP leader from Banaskantha, had also served as director of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation between 2014-17, while Mokariya, owner of a courier firm, has been with the party for almost 40 years. PTI PD BNM RSY RSY