The BJP got so desperate that they indulged in unethical means. What made matters even more noteworthy was the singular feature that the triumph over a fellow Gujarati was achieved in Gandhinagar, the capital of the state that has continuously voted for the BJP since 1995.
Q: A Rajya Sabha election is usually not this interesting… In a classic case of electoral overreach and political overkill, the BJP spokespersons came up with shifting and disingenuous explanations to counter the Congress objections. PATEL:Unlike BJP, my party does not indulge in undemocratic manners. “The fact is that the recent elections extended our base and reduced the Congress to the margins just before the Gujarat assembly elections”, said a BJP leader adding that this would help include more seats to its existing tally of 122 MLAs and reach the target of 150 that Amit Shah has set for the party. He even said that he would vote for me and that he had kept his vote reserved for me. The BJP needed this grim reminder because like the Congress of yesteryear, it is beginning to suffer from the delusion that it has the inalienable right to rule the country and it alone is the harbinger of good governance. This is because the electorate in a Rajya Sabha stand-off comprises seasoned politicians, who have all come up to this level after scoring a positive verdict from the general people. Largely because it was a showdown between BJP party president Amit Shah and Sonia Gandhi’s lieutenant Ahmed Patel; incidentally, both men have a chequered history of shadow boxing and behind-the-scene shenanigans – a throwback to the heady times when PM Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat. The parallel is fallacious, simply because there is no leader of Indira Gandhi’s stature in the grand old party and Ahmed Patel’s re-election does not, in any way, reflect the changing political reality at the grass roots level. They don’t want the Chidambarams and the Ghulam Nabi Azads or the Kamal Naths to lead the Congress. In 2017, the Congress and Sonia Gandhi are facing a bad time. She certainly would have been targeted had the Congress lost this seat. Also, crucial assembly polls are scheduled this year end in Gujarat.
Q: What implications will your victory have on the Congress? Nothing grows under a banyan tree and this is equally applicable in politics where younger leaders have to carve out their own space. Former JD (U) president Sharad Yadav – now on a tour of Bihar – has already come out in open criticism of Kumar’s decision to change horses mid-way to align with the saffron party.