Gandhinagar : What began with a bang, ended with a whimper as just four candidates were left for equal number of Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat – two BJP and two Congress – on the last day of withdrawal of nominations here on Thursday.

The formality of an official announcement of results is all that remains.

Perhaps, the last Rajya Sabha election drama played out in August 2017, where the BJP fell flat on its face trying to stop Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s election but in vain, seems to have had a sobering impact. The two principal contenders in Gujarat, after some back-channel diplomacy, decided to drop matters.

The Congress withdrew the nominations of their back up candidates and so did the BJP. Independent nominee, backed by the Congress, P K Valera withdrew his nomination as did BJP’s third candidate Kiritsinh Rana.

So, union ministers Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia, both Patidars stand elected and so do Congress leaders, former union railway minister Naran Rathwa and Ami Yagnik.

“With only unopposed candidates in the fray, we have now issued the requisite notification declaring all four candidates elected to the Rajya Sabha,” A B Karova, Returning Officer for the RS polls from the state said.

The formal results to the RS elections were slated to be announced for March 25. “However, with no elections required the returning officer can issue the notification without waiting for the final date,” a senior EC official said.

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