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7 Assembly seats, 2 Rajya Sabha seats vacant in Gujarat

Apart from the Assembly seats, by the state will also see a battle for the two Rajya Sabha seats vacated by Amit Shah and Smriti Irani.

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7 Assembly seats, 2 Rajya Sabha seats vacant in Gujarat
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The state will soon see by-elections in four Assembly seats after four MPs from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) put in their papers as MLAs of the Gujarat Assembly on Thursday. Apart from the Assembly seats, by the state will also see a battle for the two Rajya Sabha seats vacated by Amit Shah and Smriti Irani.

Shah had won the Gandhinagar seat while Irani won from Amethi. Three more Assembly seats — Talal, Morva Hadaf and Dwarka are also vacant but are caught in a legal tangle.

With the resignation, the strength of the BJP in the assembly has fallen to 101. The seats that will see a by-poll for sure include Tharad, Kheralu, Amraiwadi, and Lunawada. Bharatsinh Dabhi from Kheralu vacated his seat after winning the Patan Lok Sabha seat while Prabhat Patel won Banaskantha and had to vacate the Tharad seat. It is speculated that former MoS Shankar Chaudhary would be given a ticket for Tharad during the by-polls.

The Lunawada assembly seat fell vacant after Ratansinh Rathod won the Panchmahals Lok Sabha seat. It should be noted that though fielded by the BJP, Rathod had won the Lunawada seat as an independent but had later extended his support to the BJP in the assembly. Amraiwadi seat was represented by MLA Hasmukh Patel who won the Ahmedabad East Lok Sabha seat in 2019.

As for the Rajya Sabha seats, the BJP at present does not have the numbers to win both the seats. But if by-elections for the four assembly seats are announced before the Rajya Sabha polls, and if it manages to retain all the four seats, it may still have a chance. Congress has a strength of 71 in the house. It should be noted that other than the four assembly seats, by-elections will also have to be held in Talala, Morva Hadaf, and Dwarka.

Morva Hadaf fell vacant after independent MLA Bhupendra Khant was disqualified for submitting an invalid caste certificate for contesting the seat which was reserved for the ST Community. Congress MLA Bhaga Barad from Talala was suspended after he was convicted in a mineral theft cast. The Supreme Court later stayed the by-election on the seat.

BJP MLA Pabhubha Manek also had to give up his seat of Dwarka after the HC declared that his nomination was defective. Manek had later approached the SC which said the seat should not be declared vacant.

Bypoll Fever

The seats that will see a by-poll for sure include Tharad, Kheralu, Amraiwadi, and Lunawada. Three more Assembly seats — Talal, Morva Hadaf and Dwarka are also vacant but are caught in a legal tangle 

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