As many as 60 legislators of the ruling BJP and four of the Opposition Congress here on Friday cast their votes for by-elections to the two Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat, which fell vacant after Union Ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani were elected to the Lok Sabha in the April-May elections.
Polling began as scheduled at 9 a.m. at a single polling booth with separate divisions for the two seats, elections to which were being held separately as decided by the Election Commission (EC).
On the basis of its strength of 100 MLAs, both the BJP candidates, Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and OBC Cell member from North Gujarat Jugalkishor Thakor, are likely to sail through.
Fearing horse trading and cross-voting, the Congress took as many as 60 of its 71 legislators to a luxury resort in Palanpur in North Gujarat, instead of Mount Abu in Rajasthan as planned earlier. While they were yet to return, four other lawmakers had already cast their votes.