Ahmedabad, Aug 21 : The Gujarat High Court on Monday issued notice to the Election Commission and the winners of the August 8 Rajya Sabha polls in the state following a petition seeking to cancel the election of Congress heavyweight Ahmed Patel.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Congress turncoat Balwantsinh Rajput who contested the elections from the BJP but lost to Patel. Four candidates were in fray for three seats of the Upper House.
The high court scheduled the next hearing for September 1 after issuing notices to the Election Commission, BJP victors Amit Shah and Smriti Irani besides Patel.
The BJP loser questioned the authority of the Election Commission to cancel votes and thus overturning the final decision of returning officer.
Rajput, who crossed over to the BJP ahead of the elections and was immediately fielded as the party’s third candidate, has sought a high court directive to cancel Patel’s election and disqualify him from contesting the Rajya Sabha polls for six years.
He sought the court revoke Election Commission’s decision to term as invalid and cancel two votes of Congress cross-voters. It is believed Patel could win because these two votes had become invalid, bringing down the total number of eligible voters and thus requiring him support of only 44 MLAs instead of 45 earlier.
Patel bagged 44 votes and BJP President Amit Shah and Union Minister Irani 46 votes each. Rajput got 38 votes.