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RS poll: Cong MLA Punja Vansh cross-examined in Guj HC


Press Trust of India Ahmedabad
Congress MLA Punja Vansh on Friday told the Gujarat High Court that party MLAs were shifted to a resort in Bengaluru ahead of the 2017 Rajya Sabha polls out of fear that the ruling BJP would engage in horse trading.
The legislator from Gujarat, a witness of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, appeared for cross-examination before Justice Bela Trivedi in an election petition filed by BJP leader Balwantsinh Rajput.
Rajput lost to Patel in the August 2017 Rajya Sabha poll from Gujarat.
When Rajput's lawyer Devang Vyas asked Vansh to explain the need to shift 44 Congress MLAs to Bengaluru, the MLA from Una constituency claimed legislators feared the BJP would engage in "horse trading" to secure Rajput's victory.
When asked what prompted him to be a witness in this case, Vansh said he is doing it out of respect for Patel and for the fact that he had witnessed all the developments right from the day when election were declared till the voting day.
Since Vansh's cross-examination remained incomplete Friday, it would continue on Monday.
Patel was already cross-examined as a witness for four days earlier this week.
Rajput had quit the Congress to join the BJP and contest the August 2017 Rajya Sabha election as its candidate.
He had moved the Gujarat High Court after he was defeated in the election amid cross voting by two Congress MLAs, which were eventually declared invalid by the Election Commission.
In his petition, Rajput had accused Patel of "bribery" and "undue influence" to win the election, a charge denied by Patel during his testimony earlier.

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First Published: Jun 28 2019 | 8:45 PM IST

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