NCP, Congress rift may be temporary


But this was not just another Rajya Sabha poll which got messy because of the atmospherics, the cross voting and because the secrecy of the ballot had been compromised. But this was the Mother of all Elections.

Our investigations revealed that this time around, the MLAs themselves have switched off their mobile phones so the party leaders can not call them back to Gujarat and get them to work.

His supreme confidence in his own abilities and methods was reflected in the calm and clinical way in which he got the better of BJP president Amit Shah in the gripping fight. PATEL:That is Jairam Rameshji's personal observation. You had to micromanage the RS election.

What was remarkable about the win is that it showcased meticulous planning and comprehension of the political system as well as demonstrated that a Rajya Sabha contest, if it comes to the wire, can any day be more thrilling than a Lok Sabha fight. Room number 224 in Ahmedabad became my temporary home. We had to fly down our MLAs for safety. But this was all because the BJP stooped to horse-trading. Largely because it was a showdown between BJP party president Amit Shah and Sonia Gandhi's lieutenant Ahmed Patel; incidentally, both men have a chequered history of shadow boxing and behind-the-scene shenanigans - a throwback to the heady times when PM Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat. However, there is still magic in the name Gandhi; as long as it remains the core and the kernel of the Congress, he will continue to be relevant and pose a formidable challenge to the BJP.

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It's not going to be easy; I'll be playing against a very good opponent. The pair will play twice in a day after rain disrupted the schedule.

The Gujarat outcome is definitely not an indicator of which way the Assembly polls would swing later this year. Do you think it is a co-incidence? In a classic case of electoral overreach and political overkill, the BJP spokespersons came up with shifting and disingenuous explanations to counter the Congress objections.

Do you think Rajya Sabha election was more about your survival than the Congress winning?

Absolutely not. The BJP employed every possible trick from their Dirty Department Division to defeat me and still failed.

"We have received a request of shifting our premises to Bengaluru and we are seriously considering it so that we can relax in the resort during the 364 days of the year when we are not working", said the Chief Election Officer, talking about the one day of election when they operate during the year. And it has begun from Gujarat.