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Meet the two Congress MLAs who cross-voted in Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls

Bhola Gohel, Raghavji Patel revealed ballots to people other than party's authorised representatives

Vinay Umarji  |  Ahmedabad 

Congress supporters celebrate Ahmed Patel's win in Rajya Sabha elections (Photo: PTI)

Video footages circulated on social media by Tuesday evening showed MLAs and revealing their ballots to people other than the party's authorised representatives during the Rajya Sabha.

While took it up with the Election Commission (EC) seeking disqualification of their votes, it was obvious to everyone on both against their party. Both turned out to be among the seven rebel MLAs who, including veteran leader Shankersinh Vaghela, voted against

Gohel, 42, belongs to the Koli community of Bandhali village in Jasdan from where he won his first election in 2000. The MLA had shown signs of dissent, when recently he had announced that he would not contest the upcoming Assembly elections to make way for another Koli strongman Kunwarji Bavaliya's possible comeback.

Speculations were rife over even Bavaliya, a former member of Parliament (MP) from Rajkot, to defect to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Thus, Gohel's proximity to Bavaliya had enough hints towards the former's rebellion or probable cross voting in the Rajya Sabha polls. Moreover, ever since Vaghela announced his exit from the party last month, Gohel had ex-communicated himself.

On the other hand, Patel, 58, is a MLA from Jamnagar rural. A Leuva Patidar himself, Patel had been expressing his disappointment over Congress' failure to cash in on Patidar community's dissent against Patel, who began his political career as a taluka unit chief from Dhrol in 1978, has been a five-time MLA, two of which were contested on a ticket.

Patel's rebellion was evident from the fact that in 1995, the MLA had left after joining in 1989 along with Vaghela on the grounds of the party not making him a minister. Later, Patel got elected under from Dhrol in 2007 and Jamnagar rural in 2012.

As per their declarations, while Gohel has no criminal cases against him, Patel has two criminal cases pending against the MLA. A Bachelor of Rural Studies from J C Kumarappa Gram Vidyapith, Gohel's total assets stand at Rs 26.85 lakh including movable assets worth Rs 21.85 lakh and immovable assets worth Rs 5 lakh.

On the other hand, Patel, an arts graduate, holds total assets worth Rs 4.66 crore, including movable assets worth Rs 2.93 crore and immovable assets worth over Rs 1.70 crore.

First Published: Wed, August 09 2017. 14:36 IST