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On Rajya Sabha poll eve, 44 Gujarat MLAs return; Ahmed Patel sure of win

IANS | Ahmedabad |

Forty-four Congress MLAs from Gujarat who were taken to Karnataka to prevent "poaching" by the BJP ahead of Tuesday's Rajya Sabha elections, returned on Monday, officials said.

The MLAs were moved to a private resort near Bengaluru on July 29 following the resignation of six Congress legislators, with three of them defecting to join the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The 44 out of the 51 remaining Congress MLAs are being lodged at the Nijanand Resort near Anand.

Their family members will visit the resort for the Raksha Bandhan festival later on Monday.

On Tuesday, the legislators will directly go to state capital Gandhinagar to vote for the party's Rajya Sabha nominee Ahmed Patel. 

Patel, political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, is seeking a fifth consecutive term.

Meanwhile, veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel expressed confidence of winning Tuesday's Rajya Sabha election. In a rare appearance before the media, Patel said: "Besides the 44 legislators (who were flown to Bengaluru), we have the support of Janata Dal-United, Nationalist Congress Party and (rebel leader) Shankersinh Vaghela."