Setback for Congress as SC rejects plea to stall staggered RS polls in Gujarat

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, June 25: In a major setback for the Congress, the Supreme Court has rejected a petition that sought for simultaneous polls to be held for the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat.

The court said that an election petition can be filed later, but it could not stop the elections at this stage.

Last week the court had issued notices to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on a petition filed by the Congress challenging the decision of the EC to hold the Rajya Sabha elections on two separate dates. The ECI had fixed two separate dates for the RS polls in Gujarat. Two seats had fallen vacant from Gujarat after Amit Shah and Smriti Irani won the Lok Sabha elections.

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Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi had said that if you have one election today and one after two or four weeks, then you will be enabling the ruling party's MLAs to simply cross 51 per cent in the Gujarat assembly.

He also said that the party had told the EC if elections for the two seats to be held on two separate dates, it would be both unconstitutional and illegal. The BJP has 99 MLAs in Gujarat, while the Congress has 77. He said that if the polls are staggered then the BJP will win both the seats. In case polls are held together, then both parties will win a seat each in the Rajya Sabha, Singhvi also added.

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