AHMEDABAD: By-election to two Rajya Sabha (RS) seats in Gujarat will be held on Friday. The seats fell vacant following the resignations of Amit Shah and Smriti Irani who were elected to the Lok Sabha in May this year.
The state MLAs will be casting their votes at the Vidhan Sabha for the two seats of the upper house of Parliament. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and OBC leader Jugalji Thakur have been fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party while Congress has fielded Chandrika Chudasama and Gaurav Pandya.
The by-polls will be held from 9 am to 4 pm on the fourth floor of Gujarat Vidhan Sabha in Gandhinagar.
MLAs will cast separate votes for both the seats using a pen to mark 1 in front of their chosen candidate. White-coloured ballot paper has been issued for the seat vacated by Amit Shah and pink-coloured ballot paper for the seat vacated by Smriti Irani.
To avoid horse trading, Congress Thursday shifted 69 party legislators to Balaram resort in Palanpur area of Gujarat's Banaskatha district, nearly 150 kilometres away from Ahmedabad. Confirming the development, senior state party leader Arjun Modhwadia told Zee News, “Yes, we are here to avoid horse trading and for the political training of our MLAs."
Expressing concern on possible horse trading efforts by the ruling BJP, the Congress leader attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for promoting malpractice. "Gujarat is a political laboratory of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. Most incidents of horse-trading are reported here. They have done it two times in the past. Many money bags were found earlier and there is a possibility of it happening this time too," he said.