"Reasons best known to the Election Commission", Ahmed Patel said in a tweet. "The more the Congress tries to use its muscle and strength in the Parliament on such issues, it paints its face black every time, it shames itself" BJP leader G.V.L. Narasimha Rao told ANI.
The elections of the Upper House do not take place by secret ballot as the voter has to show the marked ballot to the party's polling agent before putting it in the ballot box.
Despite the NOTA being available during the polls, Congress said that it would issue a whip to all its MLAs to vote for Patel.
The BJP has fielded party president Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and former Congress MLA Balwantsinh Rajput in the Rajya Sabha elections. "The I-T department should stop targeting Congress", Patil said.
Clashes in the Rajya Sabha: Who said what? . He has claimed to be surprised by the contents of the same, since Rajya Sabha elections are being held in Gujarat after a period of 20 years.
The EC also sought a factual report from the finance secretary by Friday over Congress' complaint of BJP using Central forces, during the I-T raid in Bengaluru, to intimidate their MLAs before the Gujarat polls.
Sharma hit back saying, "Timing of search is questionable, especially when it's on the minister and his brother who have been coordinating the safety and stay of Gujarat MLAs". "If their leaders are leaving them, it has nothing to do with us", he said.
Subsequently, the rattled Congress tucked away 44 of its MLAs to a Bengaluru resort to insulate them from alleged "poaching" attempts by the BJP.
"BJP will romp home victorious with bigger strength than 2014 on the basis of its development and good governance of the Modi government, as well as the 13 state governments of the party in the country", he said. The Congress legislators were taken to the resort after six of their colleagues quit the party.
The legislators who will cast vote in the August 8 Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat, will have the option of NOTA. However, his victory is not guaranteed, given that opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar could garner only 49 of the then 57 Congress MLAs in the state assembly.