After a night of riveting drama, Congress leader Ahmed Patel retained Rajya Sabha seat with 44 votes against Congress rebel Balwantsinh Rajput.
Hit by defections and fear of cross-voting in a reduced Assembly of 176 legislators, Patel virtually snatched victory from the jaws of defeat garnering 44 votes to retain the seat for fifth time.
Soon after the results were out Ahmed Patel took to twitter to thank his party and voters.
Satyamev Jayate. Not just my victory. Its defeat of most blatant use of money power,muscle power&abuse of state machinery, tweeted Ahmed Patel.
"I want to thank each and every MLA who voted for me despite unprecedented intimidation and pressure from BJP. They voted for an inclusive India," Ahmed Patel said in another tweet.
BJP stands exposed of personal vendetta&political terror. People of Gujarat will give them befitting reply in this year's election, he tweeted taking a dig at the BJP.
Patel needed 44 votes to win after the Election Commission holding the votes of two Congress rebels invalid for showing their ballot papers to the BJP's election agent.
BJP chief Amit Shah, who makes his debut in Parliament, and union minister Smriti Irani have won the other two seats.
Earlier in the day, the counting of votes for the three Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat was delayed as the Congress moved the Election Commission seeking that votes of two party MLAs, who claimed to have voted for the BJP nominees, be declared invalid.
Two MLA's Patel and Gohil showed their ballots to the Congress agent Shaktisinh Gehlot and to the BJP agent, thus their votes have become invalid, the Congress claimed.
There was a high- drama for about 7 hours and delegations from BJP and Congress met Election Commission for 3 times.
Shankersinh Vagehla had called the election, declaring Ahmed Patel defeated, saying that who win vote for a losing candidate. However, Patel had expressed confidence to win the election since the beginning.
Now, Ahmed Patel's win is seen as a big boost to the congress party keeping in view of Gujarat Assembly elections slated later in the year.
It is after a gap of about two decades that a contest has taken place in Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat, where official nominees of major parties used to get elected unopposed.
Last week, the Congress moved 44 of its legislators to party-ruled Karnataka for about 10 days to prevent any further "poaching". These legislators were brought back home only on Monday, but kept at Nijanand Resort near Anand, 80 km from state capital Gandhinagar, the venue of voting. The Congress had issued a whip and a warning as well.