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Gujarat: Past karma will haunt Congress in fascinating Rajya Sabha bypoll irony

Here is why simultaneous polls matter: Amit Shah and Smriti Irani used to be members of the Rajya Sabha, both representing Gujarat. Now that Amit Shah will represent Gandhinagar in the Lok Sabha and Smriti Irani will represent Amethi, both of them have resigned their seats in the Rajya Sabha.

Look who thinks the Constitution is being disrespected. It’s Amit Chavda, the president of the Gujarat Congress.

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Unprecedented,” he says. We’ll see about that by the end of this article.

There is nothing more fun than watching past karma coming back to haunt political parties.

First, what is this about? The Congress Party has already moved the Supreme Court over this.

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Here is why simultaneous polls matter: Amit Shah and Smriti Irani used to be members of the Rajya Sabha, both representing Gujarat. Now that Amit Shah will represent Gandhinagar in the Lok Sabha and Smriti Irani will represent Amethi (yeah!), both of them have resigned their seats in the Rajya Sabha.

Remember that Rajya Sabha members are elected by the respective state assemblies on the basis of proportional representation. Considering the current strength of the BJP and the Congress in the Gujarat Assembly, two vacant Rajya Sabha seats means that the scoreline will read:

BJP 1 & Congress 1.

But wait, there’s a catch!

The vacancies for the two seats were actually notified separately by the Election Commission, one on May 28 and another on May 29. What this means is that instead of a single bypoll for both seats, there will be two separate bypolls for the two seats. Since the BJP enjoys a majority in the Gujarat Assembly, this means BJP will win both seats one by one. And the scoreline magically changes to:

BJP 2, Cong 0

And the Congress is so hurt about this. Unprecedented and unconstitutional they say. They have gone to the Supreme Court. They want “justice”.

Oh, the irony! The sweet irony!

Let me take the Congress back exactly ten years to June 2009, to their summer of triumph. See if you can spot the similarities.

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Ha!

Yashwant Sinha and a JDU leader had to quit their Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand after being elected to the Lok Sabha. Two vacancies for the Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand. If the bypolls for the two seats were held simultaneously, the NDA and the UPA would get 1 seat each.

And guess what? The polls for the two seats were held one by one. The UPA won both seats.

How fascinating. Did I mention that the Chief Election Commissioner at the time was the venerable Navin Chawla?  The man has had his brush with controversy, such as the time when CEC N Gopalaswami recommended his removal in a letter to the President of India.

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But his integrity has always shone through. As the Election Commission of India proudly recalls on its website

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He received an award from NDTV as well! Truly a Chief Election Commissioner that India can be proud of!

The bypolls for the 2 vacant Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat are going to be held shortly. The Congress has moved the SC, but given the clear precedents, it is quite clear that they have no chance of winning in court.

And the polls will be held separately, with BJP winning both seats.

Given the past record of the Congress, you can be sure that their cheerleaders and ecosystem will go into whining mode, calling it another instance of the EC’s supposed tilt towards the BJP. What the Congress will not tell you is that it is their own karma coming back to haunt them. And that it serves them right.

 

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Abhishek Banerjeehttps://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  

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