Mumbai: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to face a tough challenge the state legislative council in coming days. The upper house is scheduled for elections for 11 seats where the members would be retiring in next four months.
The BJP has taken a lead in the election process by announcing its first list of candidates. But, it remains to be seen as to how much this can help the party in maintaining and increasing its tally in the upper house.
Amongst the 11 members who would retire in next 3-4 months, maximum five are from the NCP. Amongst the other six members, two are from the Congress and the BJP each and the rest two are independents close to the BJP. The NCP would find it difficult to maintain its upper hand in the upper house if it does not get Congress support in the elections. This has forced the NCP to keep the Congress in good humour and hence came its support for Congress’ Manikrao Thakre for the post of deputy speaker of the house, political observers have said.
The members who are scheduled to retire soon are – Vikram Kale (Aurangabad Teacher’s constituency), Prabhakar Gharge (Sangli Satara Local bodies), Rajendra Jain (Bhandara-Gondia local bodies), Sandeep Bajoria (Yavatmal local bodies), Anil Bhosle (Pune local bodies) (All NCP); Dr. Sudhir Tambe (Nashik Teachers’), Amar Rajurkar (Nanded local bodies) (Both Congress); Mos Home Dr. Ranjit Patil (Amrawati Graduates’), Gurumukh Jagwani (Jalgaon local bodies) (Both BJP) and independents Ramnath Mote (Konkan Teachers’), Nago Ganar (Nagpur Teachers’).
The situation appears tough for the NCP in Bhandara and Pune, where they might have to face the internal opposition by the Congress. In Bhandara Congress MLA Gopaldas Agarwal, who is known as a staunch opponent of NCP leader Praful Patel, is unlikely to let the NCP have an easy go. While, in Pune the party is likely to face challenge from multitude of aspirants.
Though the BJP has taken a leade by announcing candidature of Dr. Ranjit Patil in Amravati and Dr Prashant Patil from the Nashik graduates’ constituency, Dr Ranjit Patil is expected to face a tough task in retaining his seat and also his berth in the state cabinet as the party cadre from his district has gone against him.
Dr Prashant is son in law of Dr. Subhash Bhamre, the newly inducted MoS defence in the union ministry, whose candidature has come as a surprise for the political observers, as he is better known as business partner of Dr. Pradip Pawar, who was an MNS candidate for the 2014 parliamentary election in Nashik.