Does Congress think its ministers can be 'traded': BJP

"Today (Wednesday) IT raids were conducted against a Congress minister at the resort where our MLAs are staying", Sharma said.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission had refused to review its decision on NOTA saying that it was not a "new direction" and was introduced in 2014. Shivakumar, incidentally, is the person tasked to look after MLAs from Gujarat, by the party's central leadership.

The I-T raids drew strong condemnation from the Congress-led government in Karnataka, with chief minister S Siddaramaiah tweeting that it was a clear case of political conspiracy and the presence of paramilitary forces was condemnable.

The Congress has also issued a whip to its MLAs to remain present on the day of the polling, failing which they will be debarred from the party for six years.

The bjp has fielded party National President Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and Balwantsinh Rajput for the three seats to the Upper House from Gujarat.

The party said that use of NOTA option during the Rajya Sabha elections was contrary to the mandate of the Constitution, the Representation of People's Act, the conduct of election rules as also judgments of the Supreme Court. The BJP said that since the provision of secret ballot was not there in this election, the goal of NOTA was not of much use in it.

Accordingly, since January 2014, the electoral body have issued instructions for the provision of NOTA option in the elections to Rajya Sabha.

The raid happened at a time when Shivakumar was overseeing the stay of 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat at a resort near Bengaluru.

Unfortunately, finance minister Arun Jaitley told the protesting Congress leaders to approach the EC and the SC to rectify the matter instead of telling Parliament and the government to seize the initiative. Earlier in the Rajya Sabha, leader of the opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the elections were being held in an atmosphere of fear. "Is it not a fact that the raids were carried out soon after he hosted the Gujarat lawmakers?" he asked.

While parading all 44 MLAs to media at Eagleton Gold resort, Gohil alleged that BJP wants to finish the party in Gujarat, but the party MLAs are united.

The "None Of The Above" (NOTA) option has been made available to the members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) voting in the August 8 Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls, according to reports.

Congress needs 46 MLAs' votes in Gujarat to ensure its candidate, Ahmed Patel's election to Rajya Sabha.

  • Rogelio Becker