Countdown Begins For MLC Polls: Semi-Finals Before Maharashtra Assembly Elections

Countdown Begins For MLC Polls: Semi-Finals Before Maharashtra Assembly Elections

The parties are in the process of deciding whether they should let the election in the second phase in July for 11 seats be unopposed and field only limited candidates, or go for a contest and field more candidates.

Rohit ChandavarkarUpdated: Tuesday, June 25, 2024, 12:48 PM IST
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Mumbai: The biennial polls for some seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) will be held in two phases in the coming days and both the political alliances – Mahayuti and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) – are now finalising their strategies. More importantly, the parties are in the process of deciding whether they should let the election in the second phase in July for 11 seats be unopposed and field only limited candidates, or go for a contest and field more candidates.

Last Major Statewide Election Before Maharashtra Assembly Elections

This is the last major statewide election before the big Maharashtra assembly election slated for October 2024 and is therefore being watched as a semifinal match of sorts.

The elections to the Mumbai Graduates, Mumbai Teachers, Nashik Teachers, and Konkan Graduates constituencies in the upper house of the state legislature are scheduled for June 26 and results will be declared on July 1. In Mumbai for the graduates' constituency, it is a straight fight between Shiv Sena ( UBT) leader and former state minister Anil Parab and BJP’s Kiran Shelar, while in the teachers' constituency four candidates – one each from Shiv Sena (UBT), BJP, NCP and teacher’s organisation Shikshak Bharati – are in the fray.

In Konkan, it’s a straight fight between Congress party’s Ramesh Keer and BJP’s Niranjan Dawkhare. In Nashik, it’s a four-party fight for one seat. All parties from both prominent alliances in the state have worked out their strategy and the result could swing in any direction as the voter base is relatively low. In the second phase, it’s going to be a bigger game because the fight is for 11 seats, with a complex quota system. The voting in this phase (July 12) will be done by the state legislative assembly members.

Maharashtra assembly has 288 seats but currently, the house has 274 members. As per the formula, every MLC seat will need a quota of 23 votes. Each MLA has one vote, which means the Mahayuti alliance can safely get seven members elected from their quota.

In the state assembly, BJP has 103 seats, Shiv Sena (Shinde) has 38, and NCP (Ajit Pawar) has 39 seats. If they field only seven candidates, there will be an unopposed election for both sides, but if Mahayuti has the confidence to pull off cross-voting and field nine or 10 candidates, then there will be a contest. Sharad Pawar’s NCP has 14 seats, the Congress party has 36 seats and Shiv Sena (UBT) has 15 members in the house, so they have enough quota to win three seats in this election.

It will be an unopposed election in case an understanding is reached between both the alliances (as anticipated by many) to leave one seat for Peasants and Workers’ Party (PWP) leader Jayant Patil, and then decide that Mahayuti should contest seven seats with MVA contesting three. However, it remains to be seen if the parties decide to reach such an understanding.

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