CM Uddhav Thackeray
CM Uddhav Thackeray
@OfficeofUT (twitter)

After the Election Commission of India accepted the request of the Maharashtra government to conduct the election of nine vacant seats in the legislative council (to be elected by the legislative assembly), the race to get a nomination for these seats has begun in all the key political parties. Shiv Sena held a meeting on Monday and finalised two names, including that of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The last date for nomination is May 11 and voting is scheduled for May 21.

MVA may get five seats

As per the electoral equations, the winner will need at least 29 votes of first preference to win this election in the first round. As per the strength of the legislative assembly, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) can easily win five seats, while the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) can bag three seats. Both MVA and BJP will try their best to win the ninth seat. Keeping in mind the trend in the previous elections, all the parties will try not to field any extra candidate and will avoid voting for the election.

Thackeray, Gorhe from Sena

From the MVA, it is learned that out of five seats, Shiv Sena will get two seats, Congress will get two seats and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will get one. “When NCP fielded two candidates, including Sharad Pawar for the Rajya Sabha, it was agreed between Congress and NCP that Congress will get two seats in the legislative council election. NCP can contest the sixth seat, if they wish,” a Congress leader said.

Shiv Sena held a meeting of its leaders and legislators from the Konkan region and decided to field Thackeray and Neelam Gorhe for the election. Though Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was reluctant to nominate Gorhe, she lobbied with Rashmi Thackeray and finally succeeded in getting the nomination. Sena legislators from Konkan signed the nomination forms of Thackeray.

Former ministers lobbying for nominations

Congress party is witnessing a cut-throat race for these two seats. Former ministers Chandrakant Handore and Naseem Khan, former legislators Muzaffar Hussain and Sanjay Dutt, former member of the parliament Rajni Patil are lobbying for these seats. Sachin Sawant, general secretary and Congress spokesperson is also being considered for this nomination by the party high command.

BJP, the main opposition party too, is facing a similar competition from their leaders. Former Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse and former Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde, who had revolted in the past against the Devendra Fadnavis leadership, are the front runners for this nomination. Khadse has openly expressed his desire for this nomination. The BJP leadership will have to adjust both OBC mass leaders to stop erosion of the mass base. This will also help BJP to have strong leaders in opposition. Khadse was the leader of the opposition in the assembly from 2009 to 2014. Former Power Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule’s name is also being considered, as he was denied ticket at the last moment during the assembly election, which ultimately resulted in major damage to the BJP.

Hemant Takle, who has retired from the legislative council is very close to NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Therefore, his re-nomination is considered as certain.

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