In a visible setback to the Congress, the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to interfere in the Rajya Sabha polls for two seats in Gujarat. The Congress had approached the top court alleging biases by the Election Commission in favour of the BJP.
The vacation bench headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna observed that since the national poll body had already notified the election for 5 July, the Supreme Court could not intervene to stop the process.
Gujarat Congress President Amit Chavda had accused the Election Commission of indulging in an unconstitutional act to help the BJP. In a series of tweets last week, Chavda had accused the Election Commission of showing ‘blatant disregard’ to the constitution under ‘immense pressure’ from the BJP.’
Chavda had said that if the election for both the vacant Rajya Sabha seats were held together, his party was set to win one of them. But, by issuing two separate notifications for the two seats even though both seats fell vacant together after the election of Amit Shah and Smriti Irani to the Lok Sabha, the BJP is now being favoured to win both the seats, he alleged.
The Election Commission in its reply had argued that once the bypolls were notified the top court had no jurisdiction over the matter.
Amit Shah won this year’s Lok Sabha seat from Gandhinagar, while Smriti Irani had defeated Congress President Rahul Gandhi in his family bastion Amethi.
The BJP has 104 MLAs and the Congress 71 in the 182-seat Gujarat assembly. One of the candidates put up by the BJP for the 5 July polls from Gujarat is External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.