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"If I'm not with Congress, you know where will I be", Congress MLA Raghavji Patel said after casting his vote for BJP.

As many as 176 legislators are expected to exercise their franchise for four contestants battling it out for three seats.

Patel contested against BJP's Balwantsinh Rajput.

What if the BJP candidate wins against Patel?

According to the present quality of the Gujarat Assembly every hopeful requires at least 45 votes to win.

Congress leader Ahmed Patel retains Rajya Sabha seat.

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Patel said he was confident of winning the election, but urged the media not to speculate and wait for the results to come out.

Patel, political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, is seeking a fifth consecutive term. Patel is, however, assured to get one vote from the lone JD (U) MLA who in defiance of his party whip has claimed to have voted for the Congress leader. These MLAs were flown back to Gujarat for the voting.

Before the six MLAs left Congress to join BJP, Congress veteran Shankersinh Vaghela also resigned from the party. Vaghela was apparently upset for not being named party's chief ministerial candidate.

The voting would be held from 9 am to 4 pm on Tuesday; the counting will be held from 5 pm, an hour after the end of polling. By 2001, the Congress had 60 seats, having wrested seats from BJP in the by-elections including urban seats like Sabarmati in Ahmedabad and Sayajigunj in Vadodara. But for the third candidate it has just 31 votes going by the party tally. They are very committed; they did not go home even for "Raksha Bandhan". The NCP has been so far a Congress ally and had backed the Opposition candidates in both the President and Vice-President's elections.

The Congress, alleging that its MLAs were being poached by the BJP, had shifted 44 of its legislators in Bengaluru for the last few days to keep the flock together.

Gujarat has three Rajya Sabha seats that have fallen vacant this year, and the BJP, which enjoys a strength of 122 in the 182-member Assembly, is assured of two clear seats that would go to party chief Amit Shah and Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani. The BJP, on the other hand, has stated that there was nothing personal, and if the Congress MLAs were deserting their party, it was because of their disillusionment with their leadership. BJP President Amit Shah and union minister Smriti Irani appeared set for an easy win. I want to stay in politics but not in Congress. The three legislators close to Vaghela faction in Congress later joined BJP with unconditional support to the saffron party. None will be eligible to vote in the Rajya Sabha election on August 8. The Congress cited in this regard a similar situation when EC invalidated a vote in Haryana polls 2016, when a Congress MLA mistakenly displayed the ballot paper.

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