Ahmed Patel wins, Saves his Rajya Sabha Seat

Ahmed Patel Rajya Sabha

It’s a Big Relief for Ahmed Patel. The quiet unassuming man from Gujarat who managed to keep his records spotless clean while washing The Family’s Dirty Linens. He has won the Rajya Sabha Elections.

Yes it’s official, Ahmed Patel has won the Crucial Rajya Sabha Elections. He somehow escaped being outmaneuvered by Amit Shah’s planning genius.

A defeat in his home state could have dented his political career and also Congress’s morale in Gujarat. Ahmed Patel’s loss would have inadvertently resulted in more MPs and MLAs abandoning the sinking that Congress ship is. It would have been a killer blow right in heart of Sonia Gandhi’s inner power circle which not very long back set the agenda for the country. The battle was not for a single Rajya Sabha seat but for safeguarding of Sonia Gandhi’s political control and influence over the Congress party. Which seems to be safe for a little while now.

Ahmed Patel got the required 44 Votes in what turned out to be one of the most closely contested Rajya Sabha elections Ever. Shankarsinh Vaghela split the Congress Party and took away crucial votes. He didn’t just vote for “friend” Balwantsinh Rajput, but made his announcement public, which had an effect on other Congress Legislators, 44 of whom were holed them up in a resort in a “friendly” state – Karnataka that is. The exact numbers haven’t been released yet by the ECI.

It was a day of high political drama. While the lone JDU Legislator Chhtou Vasava defied party whip and voted for Ahmed Patel, 1 NCP MLA voted for BJP, defying Party Whip. The Result was delayed by 9 Hours as ECI declared 2 Congress Cross Votes null and void. A massive scuffle between Congress and BJP ensued. But in the end, it was pleasant news for Ahmed Patel.

Gujarat Rajya Sabha Elections were projected as the revenge game for Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. Narendra Modi has been a victim of Ahmed Patel’s excesses. Ahmed Patel was the one who let the Lutyen’s Media loose on Modi in the aftermath of 2002 Riots. The rivalry dates back to the 1990s, when Ahmed Patel quietly scripted split in BJP and Shankersinh Vaghela split the Bharatiya Janata Party right in the middle to form the Rashtriya Janata Party government with Congress’s support. Narendra Modi failed to read the wily manoeuvres of the Crafty Ahmed Patel and was exiled for ten long years from Gujarat Politics, only to return in 2001 and take the state by storm.

It Was supposed to be the payback time for Amit Shah, who holds Ahmed Patel and Sonia Gandhi responsible for his incarceration in the Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin encounter case and his exile from Gujarat during the UPA years at the Centre.

But the revenge will have to wait for some time.

Ahmed Patel used to be a very powerful man, he was Sonia’s Man Friday, a single signal of his fingers was enough to cause a cabinet reshuffle. But he was reduced to a man facing the fight of his life today. He has won four elections to the Upper House of Parliament from Gujarat and has been a three-time Lok Sabha MP before that. He has been a Rajya Sabha member since 1993. His career stretches right from the times of Indira Gandhi till the Sonia-Manmohan Era.

He was Indira Gandhi’s loyalist, Rajiv Gandhi’s buddy, Pranab Mukherjee’s partner-in-strategy and Sonia Gandhi’s most trusted aide. No Congress politician has ever sustained period of dominance like Ahmed Patel has. But even after winning the election, the era of Ahmed Patel in a largely Rahul-centric Congress seems to be over.